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Historical Society Papers. 




Secretary of the Southern Historical Society. 


Published by the Society. 








I. The Career of Wise's Brigade. An Address by General 

H. A. Wise i 

II. S. S. Prentiss and his Career, by Joseph G. Baldwin 22 

III. Crutchfield's Artillery Brigade. Reports of its Operations 

April 3-6, 1865, by Major W. S. Basinger 38 

IV. Miss Emma Sansom — An Alabama Heroine. With an 

Account of the Capture of Colonel A. D. Streight by 
Gen. N. B. Forrest, and Details; by Gen. D. H. Maury.. 45 

V. James Louis Petigru. A Sketch by W. L. Miller 55 

VI. Gettysburg Failure — Some Deductions as to, by R. M. Strib- 

ling 60 

VII. The Hampton Roads' Conference. A Conclusive State- 
ment by Hon. J. H. Reagan 68 

VIII. The Charge of the Crater. An Account by Colonel W. H. 

Stewart 77 

IX. Gen. T. J. Jackson. An Address by Dr. Hunter McGuire. 91 

X. The Richmond, Va., Ambulance Corps 113 

XI. The Career of the Shenandoah, C. S. Navy 118 

XII. The Signal Service Corps, C. S. A., by A. M. Taft 130 

XIII. Burning of Richmond, April 3, 1865, by Col. R. T. W. Duke, 134 

XIV. Retreat from Richmond. Reminiscences of Crutchfield's 

Artillery Brigade, by Captain T. B. Blake 139 

XV. Tribute to General P. M. B. Young, C. S. A 146 

XVI. Historical Sketch of the 23d N. C. Infantry, by H. C. Wall, 151 

XVII. History of the Rockbridge 2d Dragoons, by J. S. Moore. . . 177 
XVIII. Sketch of Colonel E. Waggaman, 10th Louisiana Infantry, 

C. S. A 180 

XIX. James Murray Mason. A Tribute by H. A. Wise 186 

XX. R. M. T. Hunter. An Address by Col. L. Q. Washington, 193 
XXI. Letter from General Beauregard to General Wise as to the 

Crisis of the Confederacy, May 14, 1864 206 

XXII. Malvern Hill. An Address by Hon. John Lamb 208 

XXIII. The Slaughter at Petersburg June 18, 1864. Reminiscences 

of, by Judge William M. Thomas 222 





















Sam Davis — A Southern Martyr. With lines to, by Mrs. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox : . 231 

Boy Heroes of Cold Harbor — Account of, by Colonel E. 

McCrady 234 

How General Custer hung Mosby's Men 239 

History of the 38th N. C. Infantry, by Col. G. W. Flowers, 245 

Roster and Record of Company D, 21st Virginia Infantry. . 264 
Evacuation of Richmond — Days Preceding and Closing 

Scenes of, by Colonel J. H. Averill . . . . 267 

Roll and Record of the Sussex Light Dragoons, by Captain 

W. N. Blow 273 

Maryland Campaign — Boonsboro Fight, by G. W. B 276 

Roster and Career of the 2d Rockbridge Battery. Com- 
piled by W. F. Johnston 281 

Retreat from Richmond. Details by Captain T. B. Blake. . 285 
Richmond Fayette Artillery — Its Movement on New Berne, 

N. C, in 1864, by E. W. Gaines.... 288 

Sketch of J. P. Benjamin, by H. T. Ezekiel 297 

The Private Soldier. An Address by Col. R. T. Bennett. . 302 
Incidents in the Career of General T. J. Jackson, by Gen- 
eral D. H . Maury 309 

C. S. Senator, T. J. Semmes — An Evening with 317 

Sketch of 44th N. C. Infantry, by C. M. Stedman 334 

General R. E. Colston— A Tribute to and Plea for the mem- 
ory of 346 

Ode by General R. E. Colston 352 

Birth-Day of General R. E. Lee, January 19, 1898 — Observ- 
ances of, with Address by Captain R. T. Parks 354 

List of Virginians under Confederate Fire on Morris Island, 

1864, with Details of Hardships Endured 365 

J. P. Benjamin— Further Details as to 378 

How President Lincoln was Brought to Free the Slaves. . . . 3S0 

The Confederate Dead — A Poem by A. C. Gordon 382 

Note. — The foot-note at page 105, added by the Editor, it seems, refers to 
a similar incident to that given in the text, which was witnessed by Dr. 
McGuire. He, and others cited by him, were not at South Mountain, Sep- 
tember, 1862. 

Southern. Historical Society Papers. 

Vol. XXV. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1897. 

The Career of Wise's Brigade, 1861-5. 


Delivered by GENERAL HENRY A. WISE, near Cappahoosic, 
Gloucester County, Virginia, about 1870. 

The following graphic address, is now first printed, from the 
original manuscript in the autograph of the "Noble Old Roman" 
who died at Richmond, Va., Sept. 12, 1876, an " unrepentant rebel," 
without government pardon. 

It is unfortunately undated, and without definite statement of place 
of delivery. The object appears to have been to secure funds to 
meet the cost of gathering together the remains of soldiers from 
Gloucester county, who died in defence of the South, and to duly 
mark their graves. A monument has been since erected at Glouces- 
ter Courthouse. 

The address has been furnished by Mr. Barton Haxall Wise, a 
young lawyer of Richmond, Va., who has in preparation a life of 
his distinguished grandfather, whose public services thread the warp 
of our National history for quite a half century: 

Surviving Comrades of the Confederate War, 

of the County of Gloucester, Ladies and Gentlemen : 

The people of no section of the South were more self-sacrificing 
in their devotion to the ''Confederate Cause," or more heroic in its 
defence, than were the inhabitants of the five peninsulas lying be- 
tween the Potomac and Rappahannock, the Rappahannock and the 
York, the York and the James, the James and the Nottoway, and the 
Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. 

The whole Atlantic and Bay Coasts from Hatteras to Assateague 
Island and the mouth of the Potomac river, were accessible to war 
steamers far above the head of tidewater, and the rivers and estua- 
ries so parted each from the others that they could not readily or 

2 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

adequately support each other in their defences. None were more 
exposed to the ravages of war, and none worse scourged by them 
than were these people between the Rappahannock and the York. 
Homes, houses, labor, fences, crops, provisions, furniture, teams, 
stock, household necessaries and comforts, things of affection and 
things sacred, the very cradles and graves of families, the persons of 
women and children, and the lives and personal liberty of men were 
all alike exposed to the dangers and disasters of both servile and 
civil war; and from the first to the last of hostilities all that the in- 
habitants of the low-lands had and held dear was laid under the guns 
of invading and marauding navies and armies. There was no mode 
of escape, no place of refuge. The defenceless condition was un- 
mitigated, the enemy was unscrupulous and relentless. The fathers 
and sons and brothers could not stay by the firesides and altars and 
defend them, and they could not leave them without vengeance being 
taken for their absence; yet, mainly, they obeyed the calls of duty, 
honor and patriotism, left all to the Providence of God and the fate 
of war, and betook themselves, with manly decision, to the camps 
of the Confederate soldiers, joined them in their privations, endured 
their marches, hungered and thirsted with them, helped to fight 
their glorious battles, braved their dangers, shouted in their victories, 
wept in their defeats, and did all that good and true men could do 
for country, kindred, honor and renown, from the first, the tocsin 
gun of Fort Sumter, to the stacking of arms at Appomattox. 

We are here to-day not only to collect the means to gather the 
remains of their dead, but to plead that the good which the living 
and the dead did, shall not be interred with their bones. 

Of these patriotic heroes and martyrs, it becomes me to speak. 
They were the comrades of my command. They largely filled the 
rank and file of my noble Brigade, and I know full well where to 
place them in the estimation of men and soldiers. In speaking of 
them I do not shrink from being compelled to speak of myself. To 
have been associated with them; to have been the General who or- 
dered them; to have had their confidence and cheerful obedience; to 
have had the sympathy of their brave hearts; to have been loved by 
them as well as to have led and loved them; to have shared with 
them privations and dangers; to have shouted with them in the 
charge and in victory, and to have wept with them when all was 
lost, made of me, even me, that "stern stuff," of which they were 
composed in earnest, in the unsuccessful because unequal struggle of 
a war for a principle, a faith, and a feeling, without counting the cost 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 3 

or calculating the issue; they asked not "whether it would pay" or 
what would be their fate, if they failed. It was enough that honor, 
and self-respect, and a sense of duty and a love of libeny and of law 
to guard it, required of them to resist ursurpation, and to assert 
and fight for the rights of conscience and self-government. 

How they fought was worthy of the precious and undying Cause, 
for which they died — not in vain. During Magruder's stubborn 
stand across the Peninsula and the York river, from Warwick river 
to Gloucester Point, the most if not all of these men were enrolled in 
his lines. They were among the forlorn 7,000, only baring their 
brave breasts and keeping their vigils against the countless columns 
of an enemy attacking their redoubts and breast-works with seige- 
guns of batteries, and bombs of iron-clads. This they encountered 
unbroken to the last, and until they were ordered to raise their indomi- 
table defences of Yorktown and move to the defences of Richmond. 
This they did after the victory at Bethel, and after fighting most 
gloriously the battles at Williamsburg and Barhamsville. 

During this period, before the evacuation of the defences of York- 
town, I was in command of a legion of 2,000 men and two regiments 
of Virginia Volunteers in the Kanawha valley. To pass over the 
scenes there of Scary and Pocataligo, and the evacuation of that 
valley, and the burning of Gauley Bridge, and of Carnifax, and of 
Honey Creek, on the east peak of Sewell Mountain, and of Camp 
Defiance and the Slaughter Pen of Roanoke Island, after Richmond 
was invested by McClellan's army, my legion was converted into a 
brigade of infantry, and was reorganized. The 46th and 59th Vir- 
ginia Regiments of the legion were left to my command, and to these 
were added the 26th and 34th Regiments of Virginia, largely com- 
posed of men from the counties of Mathews, Gloucester, King and 
Queen and Essex. This reorganization was effected early in the 
spring of 1862, and we were soon posted to guard the batteries at 
Chaffin's Bluff and the entire district from Richmond to Williams- 
burg, on the James, Chickahominy and Pamunkey rivers. 

To the four regiments commanded by Colonel Powhatan R. Page, 
of the 26th, Colonel J. Thomas Goode, of the 34th, Colonel J. H. Rich- 
ardson, of the 46th, and Colonel W. B. Tabb, of the 59th, were 
added two batteries of artillery under Major A. W. Starke, com- 
manded by Captains Armistead and French, with a few cavalry for 

This small force did post duty at Chaffin's for sixteen months, 
from April, 1862, until September, 1863. During that time they 

4 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

scouted the enemy incessantly, and so effectually as to keep them 
close to their seventeen redoubts at Williamsburg. The 59th was 
stationed mostly at the Diascund, its rangers keeping the miserable 
5th Pennsylvania Cavalry timidly at bay. Under orders, they 
guarded the River road whilst the battles around Richmond were 
going on, until the last at Malvern Hill was fought, when, without 
orders, they reinforced the fagged forces of General T. H. Holmes, 
on Lee's extreme right, and where they stood unbroken for two 
days under the Paixhans and bombs of the enemy's batteries and 
ironclads, though regiments of infantry and batteries of artillery of 
General Junius Daniel's command stampeded through their ranks. 
After that, Colonel A. W. Starke riddled one of the enemy's side- 
wheel steamers from the heights of Deep Bottom. Again, in 1863, 
they were given the most difficult order to be executed which can be 
issued from headquarters. To make a divertisement in favor of 
Longstreet in his operations around Suffolk, in Nansemond, and to 
prevent the enemy from sending reinforcements from Yorktown 
against him, orders were issued to me from Richmond to move with 
all my available force as low down the peninsula as possible, and to 
do all the damage possible to the enemy and threaten him as closely 
as was in my power, without hazarding a battle unless certain of suc- 
cess. With 1, 100 men, we moved to the six miles' ordinary in James 
City, ascertained that the enemy, 3,000 strong, already apprised of 
our movement, had occupied Fort Magruder and the other sixteen 
redoubts around Williamsburg, and we planned to destroy his stores 
of munitions and provisions at Whitaker's Mill, nearly four miles in 
his rear. Tabb, with only 218 men, a portion of the 59th, was sent 
forward that night, and we attacked the redoubts in front with 900 
men at daybreak the next morning. The plan succeeded gloriously, 
in destroying from $300,000 to $500,000 worth of stores and their 
quarters at Whitaker's Mill, witnout the loss of a man. We occu- 
pied Williamsburg and vicinity for about a week in face of an enemy 
in our front three times our number; relieved many of the inhabi- 
tants of their durance vile; saved much property, and avenged some- 
what the outrages which had followed Shingler's raid, and returned 
to Chafhn's to meet the thanks of the War Department and of Gen- 
eral Elzey. Tabb and Page and Captain Rives, with a section of 
artillery, especially met my commendation. 

After this, in September, 1863, this brigade was ordered to report 
to General Beauregard at Charleston, South Carolina. Whilst at 
Chaffin's Bluff, its men and officers began to chafe somewhat that 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 5 

they were not put into a service where more laurels and less hard 
service could be gained. But there was one officer who nobly said: 
" I am ready to do my whole duty wherever I am put, and if my 
superiors in command see fit to give me the least glorious duty to 
perform, I will do it with the same alacrity that I would or could 
perform those duties which are crowned with the brightest leaves of 
honor; and if duty don't require of me to incur greater danger than 
that of the service at this post, I thank God for the chance of being 
spared to my little family. Any may have the honors of war, if I 
can be allowed to do my duty wherever put, and I can be spared to 
my wife and child." From that moment forward I set that man 
down as a true man and soldier of the first water and purest crystal, 
all of which he so proved to the moment of his death at his post, so 
brightly, so grandly, so great and so good as to make the name of 
Colonel P. R. Page immortal among angels in Heaven if not among 
men on earth. During the durance at Chaffin's, the time was not 
lost in drilling, and without any disparagement to other regiments, 
my own or those of other commands, I hesitate not to say that the 
officers of the 26th Regiment of Virginia, from Colonel Page and 
Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Council down to the sergeants and corpo- 
rals, had perfected its drill to a degree superior to that of any regi- 
ment known to me in the entire army of General Lee. Mahone had 
the best drilled brigade, but this was the best drilled regiment known 
to me in the Confederate army. It twice saved my brigade by its 
regular and orderly and steady rally; once at the White Oak road, 
on the 31st March, 1865, near Hatcher's Run, and again on the 6th 
April, 1865, at Sailor's creek, on the retreat to Appomattox. 

And before I leave the camps at Chaffin's and at Diascund and at 
the White House on the Peninsula, I cannot omit to pay a tribute 
to the people who remained at home to make bread for our army 
and comforts for the boys of our brigade. However,' other soldiers 
in the field may have suffered for want of supplies or from neglect of 
quartermasters and commissaries, I must do credit and pay but just 
dues to our purveyors as far above the general demerits of their 
class in the army. Major W. F. C. Gregory, as Commissary, and 
Majors F. D. Cleery and H. C. Watkins of our brigade were. above 
reproach in the discharge of their duties. Gregory, particularly, 
was distinguished as surpassing his own superiors so far that in the 
last retreat he was the main agent of supplies to Johnson's Division, 
though he was but the commissary of our brigade. But though so 
well served officially, what I desire to say most gratefully is: that 

6 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

our supplies whilst at Chaffin's were vastly aided and improved by 
"the old folks at home" in King and Queen, Gloucester, Mathews, 
Essex and Accomack and Northampton. The latter counties had 
to run a blockade through narrow passes in the smallest craft, at 
night, but they sent clothes and medicine and food. Essex and 
Mathews and Gloucester poured out their cornucopias upon us; but 
Oh! shall I ever forgot the little hen-coop carts of King and Queen. 
They were constantly coming packed to the tops of their cover- 
hoops always with good things from the dear mothers and sisters and 
wives at home! I had seen those little characteristic carts before the 
war in the market-places of Richmond, and felt a funny feeling about 
them, such as used to titulate my nerves by seeing the fish-carts 
around Norfolk and Portsmouth, drawn by the tackies of Black- 
water, 130 of which, in a single day, I have counted which had but 
thirty eyes. As an eastern shore man I could not but think how in- 
comparable with them was "the tram and steers" of Accomack. 
But the war taught me how precious they are and capacious too of 
every sort of good things. One of those little carts, hauled by a 
poney, was like an open sesame, it was full of hams and chickens 
and eggs and melons and cakes and cider and home-made wine and 
letters and socks and blankets. And the memory of its fullness is 
nothing to that of its pathos. Not a company got its home greet- 
ings that some poor soldier did not bring to me some choicest present 
of the sweets he so seldom got, compared with my own opportuni- 
ties. "Why my good comrade keep 'em for yourself, you need 
them more than I do." But no, he would' nt, he could'nt eat them if 
I did not take part, and hear what the " old woman " or the children 
said about us. God bless my true hearted, humble, brave pri- 
vates who loved forme to taste their morsels of good things. There 
was no generosity like theirs. It forgot everything but self-sacrihce 
and devotion, cheerfully made and paid. They all " accepted their 
situations'. " to fight to the death and to endure to the end for a faith 
and a principle, rather than eat the diet of dictation thrown by the 
hands of tyranny as husks to swine! 

"We arrived at Charleston in Sept., 1863, with an effective force of 
2,850 infantry, and found in Gen. Beauregard and Col. David B. 
Harris, a Lt. -General and a Chief Engineer worthy of the citizen 
soldiers who composed our brigade. 

The command preceding that of Beauregard had an effective 
force of 45,000 men, to defend the department from North Carolina 
to the cape of Florida; whilst Beauregard had for the same defence 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 7 

only about 17,000 effective men. This compelled a distribution of 
forces very wide apart, and hardly in supporting" distances, so large 
were the districts and extended the coasts of the command. To our 
brigade was assigned the duty of guarding the entire district lying 
between the Ashley and the Edisto, with the exception of James' 
island. On the Atlantic front it extended from the Stono to the 
Edisto, including Johns' island, Kiahwah, Seabrooks, Jehosse, Kings, 
and Slau's islands, and the Wadmalaw. At first, our headquarters 
were at Wappoo, and then farther South at Adams' Run, and exten- 
ded from Willtown on the Edisto, to the Church Flats on the Stono, 
posting Willtown, the Toogadoo, the Dahoo, King's island, Glen's 
island, Church Flats, and the Haulover, near the mouth of the Bo- 
hickett on John's island, besides the forces in reserve at Adams' Run. 
It was a very laborious and hazardous defence of a coast, indented 
for every mile almost, by waters accessible not only to the war 
steamers, but to the land forces from Morris' island in the occupancy 
of the enemy. In every emergency these troops did their whole 
duty promptly, successfully, and with the approbation and commen- 
dation of their superiors. Their duties were constant and active 
during the whole period from September, 1863, until March, 1864, 
in doing guard duty in the most exposed situations, and in details 
upon extensive earth-works, at many and various points. But they 
were not left to non-combatant work alone. They had two memor- 
able opportunities of showing their alacrity and bravery in the fields 
of battle. The two war steamers, Marble Head and Pawnee, were 
too curious in running up the Stono to peer, at a Quaker battery, 
which had been placed above the mouth of the Abbepoola, to deter 
the enemy, and Colonel Page commanding, with Major Jenkins of 
the South Carolina troops, and Colonel Del. Kemper of the artillery, 
were ordered to drive them off. This they did with gallantry, rid- 
dling the Marble Head, but the Pawnee got a cross fire on our 
batteries, and forced Page to fall back, but he fully effected the pur- 
pose of the expedition, and won my most hearty thanks. He was 
one of the coolest men I ever saw under fire. On his dull sorrel 
horse, he rode about the field under showers of shot and shell, with- 
out turning his head, or giving it a twitch even at the sound too near 
of that awful aerial whisper: "where is he ? where is he ? " before 
an explosion which crashed as if heaven and earth were coming to- 
gether. His mounted unconcern was so marked that it did not 
escape the notice of that cool and gallant soldier, Major Jenkins, the 
brother of the lamented General M. Jenkins, of South Carolina. 

8 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

After the fight was over he asked the gallant Page how he could be 
so unflinching, without a dodge, amidst such bursting of bombs and 
whispers of danger all around him. His answer was beautifully 
characteristic, showing the great integrity of his courage: 

"I did'nt dodge, sir, because I am so deaf I did'nt hear them 
before their explosion!" A braggadocio would have pocketed the 
compliment as belonging to his steady nerves. He claimed nothing 
which did'nt belong to him, and his courage was too honest and real 
not to assign his apparent indifference to danger to the true cause, 
his deafness. But there was a much greater and more important 
instance trying the promptness and the pluck of these men. The 
enemy designed its attack upon Florida, and a large fleet left the 
mouth of the Stono, conveying troops for the South. It was un- 
certain for a time what their point of destination was, when a servant 
of General Gilmer was captured by my Rebel Troop, as it was called, 
on John's Island. He was brought in to me as a prisoner of war. 
He was a light mulatto, who described himself as the son of a slave 
freed by the Barnes family, near Frederick, in Maryland. He was 
General Gilmer's cook, was purveying for the general's table on 
Morris's Island, and had got lost on the Wadmalaw. He was an 
exceedingly plausible fellow, and after a close and searching exami- 
nation professed to be wholly ignorant of the design of the .Stono 
expedition. At last he was overcome by my refusal to receive or 
treat him as a prisoner of war. What then ? He was made to ap- 
prehend that he would be turned loose, unmolested, to shift for him- 
self. Fearing many imaginary dangers, that he would be shot as a 
straggler from the enemy, or be caught and sold as a slave and might 
never see his wife and family again, he made a full disclosure which 
proved in the sequel to be true, and enabled General Beauregard to 
forward reinforcements to General Finnegan. Just before these re- 
inforcements were to depart for Florida, General Alex. Schimmel- 
finnig with 6,000 men crossed over the bars to Seabrook Island, 
and surprising the picket at the Haulover from that island to the 
main, he advanced up the Bohickett road and nearly reached the 
headquarters of Major Jenkins, in command at that point, twenty- 
five miles from Adams Run. Major Jenkins had no force but two 
companies of our brigade and Humphrey's troop of South Carolina 
calvary. The enemy divided into two columns of 3,000 each, the 
one moving up the Bohickett road, and the other moving to the 
right over the Mullet Hall creek which heads very near the left bank 
of the Bohickett. The 3,000 on the Bohickett road were gallantly 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 9 

met by Humphreys and the two companies of infantry, Jenet's and 
another, and were so closely fought by them as to make them move 
very cautiously, and to give time for Colonel Page to reinforce 
Jenkins from Johns Island bridge with a portion of the 26th, and 
this small force, fighting for thirty-six hours saved Jenkins' head- 
quarters and prevented the enemy from getting to the Abbepoola 
road, and made him, in fact, retire past the defile at the head of 
Mullet Hall, when I reached that defile with reinforcements from the 
59th, the 46th and 34th, making our whole force but 900 men. 
Seeing that the 3,000 of the enemy were crossing the Mullet Hall, 
over the temporary bridging of the channel of that stream, and that 
they were trying to reach the defile in our rear, we fell back to what 
is called the " Cocked Hat," a short distance west of the defile and 
of the Abbepoola road, and there took position and opened fire from 
two batteries upon the columns of the enemy advancing on the Bo- 
hicket road; the 3,000 on the Mullet Hall threatening our left. In 
half an hour after the fight began, 900 of Colquitt's brigade, bound 
to Florida, left the railroad cars at Church Flats and reinforced our 
command. They were posted on the left to check the enemy at 
Mullet Hall creek, whilst our 900 repulsed the attacking columns on 
the Bohickett road. This was done handsomely, without loss save to 
the enemy. They fell back after several hours fighting, and the 
next morning we could see their strategy. They expected us to 
pursue them past the defile at the head of Mullet Hall when their 
forces on our left were to close it upon our rear. We were not to be 
caught in such a snare, and they were glad to retire in the night as 
they came. For this the command was highly commended by the 
report of Colonel Harris and the orders at headquarters. Colquitt's 
men proceeded the next day on their way to Florida, and were soon 
followed by our 26th and 59th, to join Finnegan, who met the enemy 
of the Stono fleet and conquered them gloriously at Olustee. 

In April, 1864, we were ordered back to the defences of Rich- 
mond. Colonel Tabb, with a small portion only of his regiment, 
the 59th, was in advance, and was attacked front and rear at Notto- 
way Bridge, and had to fight in turns on both sides of the parapets 
thrown up there. He repelled the double attacks handsomely, but 
with the loss of his lamented Lieutenant- Colonel Jones. The bri- 
gade was pushed forward with all expedition, reached Petersburg 
punctually, and from that time to the surrender at Appomattox, was, 
I may say, constantly under the fire of the enemy in the trenches 
and fields around Petersburg and on the retreat. 

10 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

General Lee was at that time confronted by Grant at the Rapidan. 
General W. H. C. Whiting was placed in command of the defences 
of Petersburg, embracing the line of heavy fixed batteries supported 
by two small local battalions, about 150 militia, one Georgia battalion, 
and our brigade of infantry. 

General Beauregard took his position with about 8,000 effective 
men at Drewry's Bluff, and all these forces were confronted by But- 
ler's Army of the James, entrenched at City Point and at Cobb's in 
Howlett's Neck. On the 14th of May, 1864, he presented his plan 
of strategy to the War Department, at the head of which then were 
Mr. Seddon and General Bragg. Lee had about 45,000 effective 
forces; Beauregard about 15,000; and the plan he presented was for 
Lee to fall back upon the outer defences of Richmond and send to 
him, Beauregard, 15,000 reinforcements, making, with his own, 
30,000 men with which to attack and conquer Butler, gain City Point, 
cross the James, and attack Grant's on the left and rear, whilst Lee 
should attack him in front. Thus Grant would have been cut off 
from the James below Richmond, Petersburg would have been 
relieved, and Grant's force of about 120,000 then could have been 
assailed front, flank and rear by 60,000 men under the two choicest 
generals of the Confederate army. This plan, unfortunately, was 
rejected by the President, and immediately thereafter General Bragg 
sent to General Whiting an order saying that General Lee was pressed 
very hard b/ Grant, and needed all the reinforcements which could 
be forwarded to him to save Richmond; and the defence of the cap- 
ital being much more important than that of Petersburg, he was 
ordered with all despatch to report with all his available forces at 
Richmond. This order was submitted to me, his second in com- 
mand, by General Whiting, for my opinion as to its execution. It 
was signed by General Bragg officially. I read it with care, and 
unequivocally gave the opinion that it should not be obeyed, for the 
reason that to abandon Petersburg was to abandon Drewry's Bluff, 
and to abandon the latter was to abandon Richmond. General 
Whiting declared that that was his own opinion, and ordered me at 
once to make the best preparation for the defence of Petersburg to 
the. last extremity in my power. I state these facts because it has 
been denied that General Bragg ever issued such an order. It was 
read and considered by another besides General Whiting and myself. 
In two hours from the time it was received, and whilst I was issuing 
orders for the defence of Petersburg, General Whiting again sent for 
me to wait on him at his quarters. The moment I reported he 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 11 

handed me an order to him from General Beauregard at Drewry's 
Bluff, to the front of which point Butler had advanced. The substance 
of that order was that he, Whiting, was, with all his available forces 
on both sides the Appomattox, Martin's and Wise's Brigade, number- 
ing in all about 5,000 men, to cross the Appomattox and take the road 
across Campbell's Bridge by the coal pits, and join his right before 
daybreak the next morning, when he would attack Butler. In a few 
hours after this order was received, another order from Beauregard, 
changing this, came, ordering (J. G.) Martin's and Wise's Brigades 
to beat Dunlop's, on the Richmond and Petersburg turnpike, before 
daybreak the next morning, and thence at daybreak to move to the 
sound of Beauregard's guns. 

It is lamentable to add that, owing to causes which affect the rep- 
utation of a brave and accomplished Confederate commander, who 
died nobly in battle afterwards, General Whiting did not move as 
promptly as he might. The two brigades were at Dunlop's before day- 
break, and there awaited his orders until more than an hour by sun. 
They were moved then, and found the reserve of the enemy under 
General Terry in barricade at the Walthall Railroad junction with 
the Petersburg Railroad and the turnpike. Martin's Brigade was on 
the right and Wise's on the left, crossing the turnpike on which the 
enemy had thrown up their works. They were immediately charged, 
driven from their breastworks, across Bakehouse creek up the hill to 
their artillery, and in their flight their guns barely escaped capture. 
All their provisions were captured, and the brigades were passing on 
to the rear of the army retreating before Beauregard, when they 
were halted by General Whiting and ordered to fall back. But for 
this sad hindrance, the causes of which were fully reported, the vic- 
tory of Beauregard would have been one of the most signal and 
decisive during the war. As it was, it was very decided in capturing 
6,000 prisoners and in shutting Butler up, as General Grant said, in 
Howlett's Neck, "like a fly in a bottle." On the morning of the 
17th the two brigades joined Beauregard's army, and from the 18th 
to the 28th of May, for ten days, there was heavy fighting on the 
whole picket lines, one-third of our brigade being required at a time 
to picket its front, making every day almost a general battle. At 
last the order came to charge and take the enemy's outer line at 
Howlett's, and it was captured from Ware Bottom Church on the 
James to the front of Cobb's on the Appomattox. The part borne 
by Martin's and Wise's Brigades upon the enemy in their front was 
without failure and a perfect success; 600 of the Wise Brigade, 

12 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

under that perfect tactician, Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Council, of the 
36th, led the charge, supported by Martin, who was supported in a 
third line by the remaining portions of Wise's Brigade. The 600 
carried the front before either brigade came up; so rapid and so 
undaunted was this charge of the 600 it was Balaklava like. This 
charge was made in open field for one-half a mile, under no guns, 
against a full line of infantry in parapet. The men, though falling 
''like leaves of Vallambrosa," moved steadily up under the point 
blank fire until within ten or twenty paces, when the enemy threw 
down their guns and cried for quarter. The reply was " too late! " 
" too late! " and the havoc which followed was appalling. The 600 
passed beyond the line taken and had to be recalled. No more 
could be done but hold that line. After this line was captured and 
settled firmly, General Wise was sent with but one of his regiments, 
the 46th, and a Georgia battalion to support the local forces on the 
lines of Petersburg. His whole force was 800 men, including 113 
militia under the gallant Colonel F. H. Archer, to defend a line of 
six and a half miles. Alas! when he came to count his brigade, 
numbering 2, 400 men on the 16th May, he found the roster reduced 
to about 1,350. In the charge at Howlett's the Ben McCulloch 
Rangers, the best scouts of the army, were reduced from seventy- 
four to thirty-eight, and the Accomack Company from seventy-two 
to thirty-seven. It was Peter Paine of this company who cried ' ' too 
late! " by the nickname of which words he goes to this day, at his 
home on Matchatank creek in Accomack. 

We were hardly posted on the lines of Petersburg when the 800 
men in the defences were attacked by 5,000 mounted infantry, called 
Kautz's cavalry, with their sixteen shooters. They kept up feints of 
attack all the forenoon of the 9th of May, and at last swept around 
to our extreme right where the militia were posted and broke 
through. A force, two companies formed from the prisons and the 
hospitals, called the " Penitents and the Patients," were moved out 
on the Blandford fork of the road entering the city, and three com- 
panies moved from the left of the lines under Colonel Randolph 
Harrison of the 46th, to flank the entering enemy on the right, and 
they seeing the approach of the former in front, and of the latter on 
their right, retreated as rapidly as they had advanced; and Graham's 
field battery repulsed the column on the other fork of the road 
leading into the city. This saved Petersburg on that day. 

Though Petersburg barely escaped by a successful defence against 
all odds, yet this caused a protest to General Beauregard against the 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 18 

hazard of trusting its defense again to so small a force. He imme- 
diately reinforced us by sending the 26th and 34th of our command, 
still retaining the 59th and a portion of the 34th, west of the Appo- 
mattox; and this and some increase of the local forces, increased 
our effective force to just 2,200 men of all arms. This force could 
not in a thin skirmish line reach from battery No. 1 below the city to 
the plank road. The 46th and 26th were posted on the left from 
battery No. 1 to battery No. 6; tho 34th from battery No. 14 in the 
centre, and the Georgia battalion and the militia and irregular forces 
on the extreme right. Whilst in this position, the enemy number- 
ing 22,200, including Hincks' corps of colored troops, commanded 
by (Wm. F.) " Baldy " Smith, advanced from City Point and Cobbs, 
at 3:30 o'clock A. M., and attacked Graham's battery and some of 
Bearing's cavalry below our line on the river road, by 8 A. M., on 
the 15th of June, 1864, and advanced in a body upon our left, from 
No. 1 to No. 5 where the worst constructed line of the war made a 
sharp salient angle, leaving the most commanding ground outside of 
our line in front. The battle was pressed hard upon the left until 
about 1 P. M., without making an impression, but our whole force 
had to be closed to the left, and at that hour a portion of the enemy 
deployed and advanced upon our centre, in front of the 34th with 
about 5,000 men, and took our rifle pits. The 34th charged and 
drove them out. Again the enemy retook the pits and were again 
driven out; and when they advanced the third time upon the pits, 
the whole regiment leapt the parapets and gloriously repulsed them. 
All this time the enemy was engaging the left, and this caused us 
necessarily to close upon the left and centre, and made a gap from 
battery 6 to battery 8, through which about 2,000 entered upon the 
right flank of the left and captured from battery 3 to battery 8 inclu- 
sive. We immediately closed upon the inner line from battery 2 to 
battery 14, and continued the struggle until 10:30 P. M., when we 
were reinforced by our 59th regiment and by (Johnson) Hagood's 
South Carolina brigade; the other reinforcements coming up before 
the morning of 16th. By daybreak that morning we opened with 
Bogg's battery upon the enemy, and the fight was continued that 
day until about eleven o'clock at night. Bushrod R. Johnson's old 
brigade was on a hill on our extreme right, and between it and our 
26th regiment the space was not filled by any troops whatever. 
Colonel Page was there in command of our brigade, General Wise 
being in command of the District. The latter however was on the 
ground with Page all the day of the 16th and parted with him at 11 

14 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

P. M., to see that General Johnson would have the gap filled up. 
He reported to Johnson and warned him of the disaster likely to 
occur before sunrise the next morning. He professed to have issued 
the proper orders, but they were not executed, and the next morn- 
ing Johnson's Brigade gave way, the 26th was flanked on the right, 
and Colonel P. R. Page and Captain Geo. D. Wise fell in a few min- 
utes of each other; near by fell Major Patrick H. Fitzhugh, crossing, 
the bayonets of the enemy with his sword; there too fell the gallant 
flagbearer of the 46th, the indomitable hero, Louis Rogers, and near 
him Otho West, both of Accomack; there too fell the brave Major J. 
C. Hill, of the 46th, whilst bearing up the flag, and Rogers the flag- 
bearer, and there too fell Lieutenant-Colonel Peyton Wise,* and a 
large member of others killed and wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Wise and Major Hill survive, but Page lies at Blandsford Cemetery, 
Captain Wise, our brigade inspector, at Hollywood, and the body 
of Fitzhugh fell into the hands of the enemy. Poor fellow ! he had 
heard his son was butchered at Battery No. 5 by the colored troops, 
after his surrender; the last that I saw of him he was in tears swear- 
ing the Hannibal's oath that he would at every hazard avenge his 
son's death. The story was false, his son was captured only, and 
yet survives. After this commenced the life of the trenches and 
scenes like that of the Crater. Colonel Goode succeeded Page in 
the command of the brigade, and when the mine was sprung Grade's 
Brigade was on the left and ours on the right of it. As sudden as 
the explosion the enemy rushed through the gap made by its terrific 
blast and a portion of them got to our inner line. Grade's Brigade 
and ours firing obliquely right and left continuously for six hours, 
without relief, kept the enemy down where they lodged and kept 
them back in front until Mahone's Brigade was brought six miles 
from the right to charge the enemy in the trenches as they did most 
triumphantly. Here, too, havoc was made among the best and 
bravest of our brigade. I have not time or space to tell of our 
picket losses and of the sufferings of the trenches. Early in March, 
1865, we were ordered to Lee's extreme right at Hatcher's Run. 
Then commenced the preliminaries of the retreat, strong guards near 

* Colonel, subsequently known as General Peyton Wise, from a post-bellum 
commission in the State Line, became a prominent and useful citizen of Rich- 
mond. He was an accomplished gentleman, as frank and warm-hearted as 
he was courageous, and possessed powers of oratory of a high order. He 
died March 29th, 1897, in his fifty-eighth year, honored and widely beloved. 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 15 

Burgess's Mill, where the plank road crossed our line. On the 28th 
of March the firing became hot and heavy, we felt that something 
had given way on our left. Sheridan's mounted infantry (miscalled 
cavalry) was bearing on Five Forks, and General Pickett was ad- 
vanced to that point at the head of Gravelly Run fork, on the White 
Oak road; and General Meade's corps of 25,000 men was advancing 
in our front across Arthur's creek. Ransom's and Hunton's brig- 
ades were taken from our division, to reinforce Pickett at Five Forks 
and Evans' old brigade, of South Carolina, then commanded by 
General W. H. Wallace, and our brigade were alone left at Hatcher's 
Run. On the 29th March, our brigade was ordered into line of bat- 
tle at the point near Burgess' Mill, where what is called the Military 
road, forks with the plank road to Dinwiddie C. H., and General 
Wise was ordered to advance quickly "on the Military road, to 
Gravelly Run, guiding by the centre, and to fight everything in our 
way." We threw the 34th and 46th on the right of the road, and 
the 26th and 59th on the left. Within six hundred yards from the 
place where the brigade was ordered forward, we struck the enemy 
obliquely, diverging from left to right. They were in four lines, 
which we charged and broke, and drove the first upon the second 
and the second upon the third, until the four lines were massed 
in our front, in a dense growth of pine thicket on the right and 
a heavy growth of oak, with an undergrowth of Black Jack, on 
the left of the road, at the distance of ten to twenty paces on the 
left and thirty on the right. But the line of the enemy being so 
much longer than our own, the angle at which we struck them gave 
them an enfilade fire on our left; nevertheless, under the order to lie 
flat and shoot from a rest on the elbows, we maintained the dreadful 
conflict for one hour and a half, when the 59th and 26th were obliged 
to break; but they soon rallied on General Wallace in reserve at the 
forks, came up again with his brigade to the aid of the 46th and 34th, 
until Wallace and the 26th, 59th and 46th were again broken and gave 
way, leaving the 34th alone under fire, where it stood and fought to 
within thirty paces of the enemy's artillery until thrice ordered to 
retreat. We fell back again to the parapet at Hatcher's Run, rested 
the 30th there, and on the 31st again were ordered to fall in on the 
left of McGowan's Brigade and charge the enemy. The 59th were 
left to guard the trenches, and the 26th, 34th and 46th went into the 
charge. They, with McGowan's Brigade, did good execution in 
staggering the overpowering columns of Meade, and in delaying 
their advance to Five Forks. In these two fights a number of the 

16 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

best and bravest fell among the killed and wounded, among whom 
were Lieutenant-Colonel Harrison, of the 34th; Captain Barksdale, 
of the 59th, and Lieutenant Barksdale Warwick, of my staff, who 
died with a smile of the guadia certaminis on his face, struck whilst 
waving his sword and shouting ' ' Charge ! Charge ! ' ' 

On the night of the 31st we fell back across Hatcher's Run to 
Sutherland's on the S. S. R. Road and pressed forward after Hun- 
ton to reinforce Pickett at Five Forks. On Sabbath morning the 
1st April, we reached Church Crossings, and were kneeling to God, 
under the prayers of Chaplain W. E. Wiatt of the 26th, when an 
order announced the defeat of Pickett at Five Forks and that we 
must fall back to the Appomattox. On Sunday at noon we reached 
the Namozine creek, and lodged our right on its banks. The enemy 
came up immediately, whilst we were throwing up breast- works, and 
Sheridan's cavalry sounded the bugle notes of charge until night-fall, 
from a heavy wood in our front. This was but a feint to deceive 
Fitz Lee's dismounted cavalry on our left. At dark the enemy 
pressed decidedly upon him, when he called for reinforcements from 
the infantry. We ordered the 59th down the breast-works imme- 
diately, leaped them before reaching the cavalry, formed at right 
angles to the breast-works on the enemy's left, and scattered them 
at the first volley. That night we crossed the Namozine, and the 
next day, the 2nd of April, crossed the Winticomack creek, and as 
we reached the defile at Deep creek near Mannsboro, Sheridan's 
cavalry in position at the defile, opened a galling fire upon our ad- 
vanced guard. The 59th had been ordered to assist in bringing up 
the rear, and thus we consisted then of the 26th under the younger 
Perrin, the elder having been badly shattered to pieces at the charge 
at Howlett's the year before; the 46th under Captain Abbott, Colo- 
nels Harrison and Wise being both wounded and exempted, and the 
34th under Colonel J. Thomas Goode. Immediately upon the fire we 
turned the head of our column obliquely to the right through an 
open field to a curtilage of houses, where the 26th and 46th were 
posted, and the 34th was deployed to the open ground on our right, 
to decoy a charge upon it passing the front of the other two regi- 
ments behind the houses. The decoy succeeded. The enemy had 
dismounted, tied their horses on the other side of the creek some 600 
yards off, and charged on foot obliquely by the houses, upon the 
34th, until they came close in front of the 26th and 46th which burst 
upon their right flank so sudden and so sharp that they broke and 
fled, and were so pressed by the three regiments, they could 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 17 

not reach their horses and mount in time to prevent a severe loss of 
men and horses. Here we were halted for the entire line to pass, 
with orders to bring up the rear. Thence we passed on by Amelia 
C. H., Jetersville and Deatonsville, zig-zagging from right to left, 
and from left to right and skirmishing the whole way until we came 
to the forks of Sailor's creek, near Jamestown, and the High Bridge, 
on the 6th April. What was left of our division, Wise's brigade of 
Virginia, and Wallace's of South Carolina, were posted on the left 
of Pickett's division, then reduced to an inconsiderable number by 
the stampede at Five Forks. Corse's brigade and Ransom's had 
stood their ground there well, and suffered very much. Whilst in 
position at the forks of the road when the baggage train passed to 
the right and the artillery to the left, we were ordered to detail two 
regiments to guard the left of Wallace's brigade; the 26th and 59th 
were detailed, and when the order came as it did, to join Pickett on 
his left and attack the enemy, we had but two regiments, the 46th 
and 34th, to go into the fight with. We came in half rifle range of 
the enemy near the east fork of Sailor's creek on our left; Wallace's 
brigade came up between our two regiments and the east fork, when 
we found that the enemy were coming up on our left, and we were 
annoyed by an enfilading fire. In our front was a curtilage of houses, 
dwelling, kitchen, barns, stables and tobacco-houses reaching a half 
mile, and with a large graveyard inclosed by a rough stone wall, all 
filled by the enemy who were pouring in a fire so galling that we 
were compelled to lie down in the copse of pine where we were 
posted. The enemy had broken the forces under General Ewell, 
and were then pouring down upon our left. Under these circum- 
stances, we detailed two companies from the 34th under Captain 
William Jordan, of Bedford county, to drive off the sharpshooters 
who were enfilading our left, which duty he did with signal effi- 
ciency, and Colonels Abner Perrin and Tabb coming up at the 
time to the left of Wallace, they were ordered to support Jordan 
with the 26th and 59th Regiments and to push the enemy until they 
came opposite their right flank in our front. The moment they did 
so we charged in front upon the stone wall and houses, and Perrin 
and Tabb and Jordan charged upon the enemy's right flank, and we 
broke them thoroughly, and drove them some one and a half to two 
miles, unassisted by either the forces of Wallace or Pickett, when 
Colonel (R. P.) Duncan, of General Anderson's staff, ordered us to 
fall back to Pickett's rear to form at right angles to his line and to 
retreat to the road of our march. We had hardly formed and began 

18 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

to move in his rear before Pickett's whole command stampeded, 
leaving our artillery in the enemy's hands, and they were exploding 
our caissons in a lane in our front. We pressed forward across a 
branch of the west fork of Sailor's creek, and were surrounded by 
the enemy entirely on our rear and left and half way down our front. 
Wallace's Brigade broke and fled to a woods on our right. We 
pressed up a hill in our front, halted behind a worm fence on the 
crest, fired three volleys to the rear, and retreating again, moved 
quickly down the hill, putting it between us and the enemy in our 
rear, and poured three volleys obliquely to the left and front, broke 
the enemy and got out. Here the 26th showed its exemplary drill. 
Perrin gallantly rallied his regiment, and upon its nucleus we formed 
and seized the whole brigade in sight of the broken enemy. After 
rallying and forming, we poured three volleys into the woods where 
Wallace's Brigade were ensconced, and it raised a white flag and 
came out to us and formed and marched with us safely off the field, 
and gained our road past the enemy. Anderson, Pickett and (B. R.) 
Johnson had left the field before we cut through and gone on to the 
high bridge and Farmville. At one o'clock at night we reached the 
high bridge and found it shut down. After getting over it we marched 
a mile or more on towards Farmville, and bivouacked until the morn- 
ing of the 7th. We were overcome by exhaustion, and without food 
or refreshment of any kind. There was no water but the pools, as 
red as brick dust, in the soil of that region. Colonel J. Thomas 
Goode, Captain Jordan and myself washed or cooled our faces and 
hands in the same pool the next morning, and neither of us had a 
handkerchief or towel to wipe with, and consequently the paint of 
the red water remained on our faces and at the edges of our hair; 
and during the night a soldier of the 34th found me sleeping without 
a blanket or coat on the chilling earth — the enemy had captured my 
orderly and body-servant, with my cloak and two of my horses — 
a wounded man at Sailor's creek had escaped on my riding horse 
proper — and the noble private, whom I don't know, wrapped me, 
more dead than alive, in his coarse gray blanket, pinning it on with 
a wire pin, both of which I have now, and the gold of Ophir could 
not buy them! With a face painted like an Indian, with the gray 
blanket around me, and with the Confederate Tyrolese hat on — not 
off, as ridiculously stated — and muddy all over, I put myself on foot 
at the head of the two brigades and marched on the railroad to near 
Farmville. There an officer of General Lee met me and ordered us 
to move to him, then in sight on his gray. Turning the head of the 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 19 

column to the right, down the railroad embankment, we marched 
across the open field to where he was sitting in his saddle, with Gen- 
eral B. R. Johnson on his horse a little in the rear. The latter had 
fled from Sailor's creek and reported me killed and the whole divi- 
sion cut to pieces and dispersed. As I moved up with the two bri- 
gades I saw that General Lee was suppressing a laugh. I knew he 
had a sub-vein of humor, which he was hardly concealing when he 
saw my appearance — that of a Comanche savage. He was right; I 
was savage and looked like an Indian, and waited not to be accosted, 
when I exclaimed with an oath: " General Lee, these men shall not 
move another inch unless they have something more to eat than 
parched corn taken from starving mules ! ' ' He smiled with great 
blandness, and said: 

"They deserve something to eat, sir. Let them, without taking 
down the fence, move to the trees on yonder hill, and they shall be 
filled for once at least. And you, General Wise, will pause here a 
moment with me." When the brigades passed on he turned to me 
and said: " You, sir, will take command of all these forces." There 
were no organized forces but the two brigades I came up with, in 
sight; there were thousands of disorganized troops in all directions 
without order or command. I protested that I could not take such 
a command. I had no horses. He ordered me to get a horse and 
make all the stragglers and disorganized men fall into my ranks. I 
told him that it would put my brigade hors du combat, to have to 
play field marshal for such a disorganized mass. He said: "You 
must obey your order, sir." I replied: " I will, sir, or die a trying, 
but I must first understand it. It is not the men who are deserting 
the ranks, but the officers who are deserting the men who are disor- 
ganizing your army. Do you mean to say, General Lee, that I 
must take command of all men of all ranks f " looking at General 
B. R. Johnson. Lee then understood my meaning, turned his head 
the other way to smile, said: " Do your duty, sir." And I first went 
to breakfast and then to the work which wound up at Appomattox 
on the 9th, when and where I signed the paroles of more than 5,000 
men besides those of my own brigade. It was this which gave rise 
to the ridiculous story lately published in the newspapers of the day 
and in Harper's Magazine. The correspondent, as usual, blundered 
upon enough of fact to make fiction murder truth, and make me 
ludicrous. It was the proudest moment of my life, and I am glad to 
explain its true history. 

Without intermission I was with that brigade in whole and in part 

20 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

from April, t86i, until April 9th, 1865, under the eye of General 
Lee from the first to the last scenes of the war, and we parted with 
each other on parole at Appomattox. Alas! how few were there at 
last of those who were comrades with us at first. There were less 
than 1,000 left of the 2,850 who returned from Charleston in April, 
1864, Less than half were paroled of 2,400 who charged at How- 
lett's. Their last, after fighting in nineteen battles, was their most 
glorious charge; and they fired the last guns of the infantry at Ap- 
pomattox. Of this and other commands, Gloucester's dead were 
piled on every battle field: Page, Taylor, Fitzhugh, Puller, Ellis, 
Robins, Hibble, Baytop, Millers, Roane, Bridges, Banks, Norton, 
Amory, Cooke, Edwards, Griffin, Massey, Newcomb, Bristow, Jones, 
Barry, Ware, Simcoe, R. B. Jones, Kenan, Pitts, Pointer, Leigh, 
Jeff Dutton, Elijah Dutton, Vincent Edwards, Dunstan, Hughes, 
Evans, Cary, Thos. Robins, Freeman, John Roane, Jenkins, Hob- 
day, Albert Roane, Ransome, White, J. W. Robins, Woodland, 
Cooper, Summerson, Williams, Hogg, Sparrow, T. J. Hibble, Alex. 
Dutton, John Edwards, Rich, Dutton again, Dunbar Edwards, 
Gwynn — I cease to call the roll, for they are absent by fifties and 
hundreds, and not a man answers to his name! 

In this succinct, didactic narrative, not half justice could be done 
to these martys to civil liberty. Their lives and deaths were the 
most beautiful epic poems. They will be sung and celebrated as 
long as liberty lasts; as long as a love for it sighs for its loss and their 
sacrifice. There was nothing sordid or selfish in the high motives or 
objects of their death struggle. The chief injustice done to their 
memories is in seeming to think or say that they fought and died in 
vain for some mere material property, profit, advantage, or posses- 
sion. Nothing could be more unjust to them, or more untrue in 
fact. They were no hirelings; they were no men of expediency. 
They loved virtue for virtue's sake, honor for honor's sake, justice 
for justice's sake, truth for truth's sake, right for right's sake. They 
never stooped to ask: "Will it pay?" They had faith, feelings, 
affections, sense of the intellect to know their rights, and know- 
ing them, the courage to maintain them through all hazards, 
and to the last extremity, they had a sense of honor, a sense 
of self-respect, a sense of wrong, a sense of duty and a physi- 
ical and moral power of resistance to the tyranny of usurpation 
and oppression. Their physical power was expended in the 
war, but their moral power still exists unimpaired, except by 
those who call their consecrated cause "A Lost Cause;" except 

The Career of Wise's Brigade. 21 

by those who say that ' ' the best they ca?i do" is to desert the 
faith of that cause; to lose its feelings and fortitudes; to take test 
oaths; to beg for pardons; to confess the charge of treason, not only 
to acknowledge the guilt of the highest felony known to the calendar 
of human crime, for themselves, but in fact and effect to inscribe 
treason on the graves of these heroic martyrs; to choose the school 
of morals which teaches the doctrine of taking lesser evils; to ap- 
prove and endorse the blackest wrongs done to this generation and 
its heirs forever, against which these immolated comrades fought and 
died ! This thing which we now hear called ' ' accepting the situa- 
tion " is very different from the acceptance of the situation which 
these dead comrades made in the pride of patriotism when they ac- 
cepted graves rather than servile submission, when they tasted death 
rather than " eat dirt " and live! They made thousands of the foe 
' ' bite the dust ' ' rather than be conquered to wear chains by consent 
and approval. If they were traitors I and every leader of theirs 
who led them to battle and to death, Lee and all, were murderers! 
They were not traitors, and Lee and I and others whom they fol- 
lowed were not their murderers! The morale of their lives and 
deaths still lives in the memory of the glorious deeds they did, and 
their examples are immortal. The rights for which they contended 
and their defence of those rights constituted ' ' the Confederate 
Cause." And that cause is as undying as those rights are indestruc- 
tible, and as their defence was glorious! They were true to that 
Cause, the substance of which was not to be masters of slaves, but 
that others should not be their masters, and they were true to the last 
ditch of its defence, and to the death! Yes! After the bones of 
these devoted martyrs shall have mouldered into dust; after the 
deserters of their faith and memories and examples shall have died 
in the easiest situations which they can accept, and they and their 
treason shall have rotted and been forgotten, the cause of freedom 
for which these noble Confederates fell — the freedom of conscience 
and the freedom of self-government, guarded by a standard of fun- 
damental law of its honest administration — the Confederate Cause 
shall survive and revive and find champions, though its champions 
for the time be made martyrs! The blood of these martyrs shall 
be the seeds of new life and new liberty for all the ages of time! and 
the moral monuments of "These True Men," without marble and 
without brass, shall be eternal! 

I wish it was permitted by this occasion, dedicated to the dead, 
to speak of and to the survivors of these their comrades, who so 

22 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

nobly made up their accounts and passed away, leaving a duty, a 
sacred duty, to be performed by the living. There are many of those 
living who were true in the rank and file of the army, who were to 
tread with cautious steps and not forget to pay and not to mistake 
the way of paying the debt due to the fallen. You propose to build 
them a shrine. That shrine will be nothing — it will be vain, a 
mockery — if every one of your own hearts and heads are not shrines, 
in which the memories of these men are embalmed. Your hearts 
cannot be their shrines if you have not performed your part too like 
true men, worthy of their example. 

Let us, the living, gather their ashes to the grave-yards of the old 
homesteads, and con the moral of their lives and deaths, that — 

"Integrity of life is fame's best friend, 
Which nobly beyond death shall crown the end." 

[From the New Orleans Picayune, Feb 10, 1895.] 


An Estimate of the Man by a Contemporary. 


Sergeant Smith Prentiss was born in Portland, Me., September 
30, 1808, and died at Natchez, Miss., July i, 1850. Forty-four 
eventful years have come and gone, and yet the name and fame of 
Prentiss is as green in the memory of those who admire talent and 
love chivalry as when he was here in the flesh. With one or two 
honorable exceptions, his contemporaries are all dead. Much has 
been written and printed of this wonderful man. Every reminiscence, 
however, with which his name is connected is eagerly read, not only 
in Mississippi but throughout the Union. Not one Mississippian, 
perhaps, in 10,000 ever saw a likeness of Prentiss. The one con- 
tained in several metropolitan papers last year was a miserable cari- 
cature — no more like Prentiss than Prentiss was like Hercules. 

Of all the sketches written of Prentiss, the following, from J. G. 
Baldwin, a contemporary of Prentiss, who afterwards removed to 

Sergeant S. Prentiss and His Career. 23 

California and was elevated to the Supreme Court of that State, is 
believed to be the best : 

"The character of the bar, in the older portions of the State, of 
Mississippi, was very different from that of the bar in the new dis- 
tricts. Especially was this the case with the counties on, and near 
the Mississippi river. In its front ranks stood Prentiss, Holt, Boyd, 
Quitman, Wilkinson, Winchester, Foote, Henderson and others. 

" It was at the period first mentioned by me, in 1837, tnat Ser- 
geant S. Prentiss was in the flower of his forensic fame. He had not, 
at that time, mingled largely in federal politics. He had made but 
few enemies, and had not 'staled his presence,' but was in all the 
freshness of his unmatched faculties. At this day it is difficult for 
anyone to appreciate the enthusiasm which greeted this gifted man, 
the admiration which was felt for him, and the affection which fol- 
lowed him. He was to Mississippi, in her youth, what Jenny Lind 
is to the musical world, or what Charles Fox, whom he resembled in 
many things, was to the Whig party of England in his day. Why 
he was so is not difficult to see. He was a type of his times, a rep- 
resentative of the qualities of the people, or rather of the better 
qualities of the wilder and more impetuous part of them. The pro- 
portion of young men, as in all new countries, was great, and the 
proportion of wild young men, was unfortunately, still greater. 

1 ' He had all those qualities which make us charitable to the charac- 
ter of Prince Hal, as painted by Shakespeare, even when our ap- 
proval is not fully bestowed. Generous as a prince of the royal 
blood, brave and chivalrous as a Knight Templar, of a spirit that 
scorned everything mean, underhanded or servile, he was prodigal 
to improvidence, instant in resentment, and bitter in his animosities, 
yet magnanimous to forgive when reparation had been made or 
misconstruction explained away. There was no littleness about him. 
Even toward an avowed enemy he was open and manly, and bore 
himself with a sort of antique courtesy and knightly hostility, in 
which self respect, mingled with respect for his foe, except when 
contempt was mixed with hatred ; then no words can convey any 
sense of the intensity of his scorn, the depth of his loathing. When 
he thus outlawed a man from his courtesy and respect, language 
could scarce supply words to express his disgust and detestation. 

" Fear seemed to be a stranger to his nature. He never hesitated 
to meet, nor did he wait for ' responsibility,' but went in quest of it. 
To denounce meanness and villany in any and all forms, when it 
came in his way, was, with him, a matter of duty from which he 

24 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

never shrunk ; and so to denounce it as to bring himself in direct 
collision with the perpetrator or perpetrators — for he took them in 
crowds as well as singly — was a task for which he was instant, in 
season or out of season. 

' ' Even in the vices of Prentiss there were magnificence and bril- 
liancy imposing in a high degree. When he treated it was a mass 
entertainment. On one occasion he chartered a theatre for the 
special gratification of his friends — the public generally. He bet 
thousands on a turn of a card, and witnessed the success or failure 
of the wager with the nonchalance of a Mexican monte player ; or, 
as was most usual, with the light humor of a Spanish muleteer. He 
broke a faro bank by the nerve with which he laid his large bets, 
and by exciting the passion of the veteran dealer, or awed him into 
honesty by the glance of his strong and steady eye. 

" Attachment to his friends was a passion. It was a part of the 
loyalty to the honorable and chivalric, which formed the subsoil of 
his strange and wayward nature. He never deserted a friend. His 
confidence knew no bounds. It scorned all restraints and considera- 
tions of prudence or policy. He made his friends' quarrels his own, 
and was as guardful of their reputations as of his own. He would 
put his name on the back of their paper without looking at the face 
of it, and gave his carte blanche, if needed, by the quire. He was 
above the littleness of jealousy or rivalry, and his love of truth, his 
fidelity and frankness were formed on the antique models of the 
chevaliers. But in social qualities he knew no rival. These made 
him the delight of every circle ; they were adapted to all, and were 
exercised on all. The same histrionic and dramatic talent that gave 
to his oratory so irresistible a charm, and adapted him to all grades 
and sorts of people, fitted him, in conversation, to delight all men. 
He never staled and never flagged. Even if the fund of acquired 
capital could have run out, his originality was such that his supply 
from the perennial fountain within was inexhaustible. 

" His humor was as various as profound — from the most delicate 
wit to the broadest farce, from irony to caricature, from classical 
illusion to the verge — and sometimes beyond the verge — of coarse 
jest and FalstafT extravagance, and no one knew in which depart- 
ment he most excelled. His animal spirits flowed over, like an arte- 
sian well, ever gushing out in a deep, bright, and sparkling current. 

' ' He never seemed to despond or droop for a moment ; the cares 
and anxieties of life were mere bagatelles to him. Sent to jail for 
fighting in the courthouse, he made the walls of the prison resound 

Sergeant S. Prentiss and His Career. 25 

with unaccustomed shouts of merriment and revelry. Starting to 
fight a duel, he laid down his hand at poker, to resume it with a smile 
when he returned, and went on the field laughing with his friends as 
to a picnic. Yet no one knew better the proprieties of life than him- 
self — when to put off levity, and treat grave subjects and persons 
with proper respect, and no one could assume more gracefully a dig- 
nified and sober demeanor. 

" His early reading and education had been extensive and deep. 
Probably no man of his age, in the State, was so well read in the 
ancient and modern classics, in the current literature of the day, and 
— what may seem stranger — in the sacred scriptures. His speeches 
drew some of their grandest images, strongest expressions, and aptest 
illustrations from the inspired writings. 

"The personnel of this remarkable man was well calculated to 
rivet the interest his character inspired. Though he was low of 
stature, and deformed in one leg, his frame was uncommonly ath- 
letic and muscular ; his arms and chest were well formed, the latter 
deep and broad ; his head large, and a model of classical proportions 
and noble contour. A handsome face, compact brow, massive and 
expanded, and eyes of dark hazel, full and clear, were fitted for the 
expression of every passion and flitting shade of feeling and senti- 
ment. His complexion partook of the bilious, rather than the san- 
guine temperament. His skin was smooth and bloodless — no excite- 
ment or stimulus heightened his color: nor did the writer ever see 
any evidence in his face of irregularity of habit. In repose his 
countenance was serious and rather melancholy — certainly somewhat 
soft and quiet in expression, but evidencing strength and power, and 
masculine rather than the light and flexible qualities which character- 
ized him in his convivial moments. There was nothing affected or 
theatrical in his manner, though some parts of his printed speeches 
would seem to indicate this. He was frank and artless as a child, 
and nothing could have been more winning than his familiar inter- 
course with the bar, with whom he was always a favorite, and 
without a rival in its affection. 

" I come now to speak of him as a lawyer. 

" He was more widely known as a politician than a lawyer, as an 
advocate than a jurist. This was because politics form a wider and 
more conspicuous theatre than the bar, and because the mass of men 
are better judges of oratory than of law. That he was a man of 
wonderful versatility and varied accomplishments is most true, and 
that he was a popular orator of the first class is also true, and that 

26 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

all of his faculties did not often, if ever, find employment in his pro- 
fession may be true likewise. So far he appeared to better advan- 
tage in a deliberative assembly or before the people, because there he 
had a wider range and subjects of a more general interest, and was 
not fettered by rules and precedents; his genius expanded over a 
larger area, and exercised his powers in a greater variety and num- 
ber. Moreover a stump speech is rarely made chiefly for conviction 
and persuasion, but to gratify and delight the auditors and to raise 
the character of the speaker. Imagery, anecdote, ornament, elo- 
quence and elocution are in better taste than in a speech at the bar, 
where the chief and only legitimate aim is to convince and instruct. 

" It will always be a mooted point among Prentiss' admirers as to 
where his strength chiefly lay. My own opinion is that it was as a 
jurist that mostly excelled; that it consisted in knowing and being 
able to show to others what was the law. I state the opinion with 
some diffidence, and, did it rest on my judgment alone, should not 
hazard it at all. But the eminent Chief Justice of the high court of 
errors and appeals of Mississippi thought that Prentiss appeared to 
most advantage before that court, and a distinguished judge of the 
Supreme Court of Alabama, who had heard him before the chan- 
cellor of Mississippi, expressed to me the opinion that his talents 
shone most conspicuously in that forum. These were men who could 
be led from a fair judgment of a legal argument by mere oratory, 
about as readily as old Playfair could be turned from a true criticism 
upon a mathematical treatise by its being burnished over with ex- 
tracts from Fourth of July harangues. Had brilliant declamation 
been his only or chief faculty, there were plenty of his competitors at 
the bar who, by their learning and powers of argument, would have 
knocked the spangles off of him and sent his cases whirling out of court, 
to the astonishment of hapless clients who had trusted 10 such fragile 
help in the time of trial. 

" It may be asked how is this possible ? How is it consistent with 
the jealous demands which the law makes of the ceaseless and per- 
severing attention of her followers as a condition of her favors ? The 
question needs an answer. It is to be found somewhere else than in 
the unaided resources of even such an intellect as that of Sergeant 
Prentiss. In some form or other, Prentiss always was a student. 
Probably the most largely developed of all his faculties was his 
memory. He gathered information with marvelous rapidity. The 
sun stroke that makes its impression upon the medicated plate is not 
more rapid in transcribing, or more faithful in fixing its image than 

Sergeant S. Prentiss and His Career. 27 

was his perception in taking cognizance of the principles, or his 
ability to retain them. Once fixed, the impression was there forever. 
It is true, as Mr. Wirt observed, that genius must have materials to 
work on. No man, how magnificently soever endowed, can possibly 
be a safe, much less a great, lawyer, who does not understand the 
facts and law of his case. But some men may understand them 
much more readily than others. There are labor-saving minds, as 
well as labor-saving machines, and that of Mr. Prentiss was one of 
them. In youth he had devoted himself with intense application to 
legal studies, and had mastered, as few men have done, the elements 
of the law, and much of its text-book learning. So acute and re- 
tentive an observer must, too — especially in the freshness and novelty 
of his first years of practice — ' have absorbed ' no little law as it 
floated through the courthouse, or was distilled from the bench and 

' ' But more especially it should be noted that Mr. Prentiss, until 
the fruition of his fame, was a laborious man, even in the tapestring 
sense. While the world was spreading the wild tales of his youth, 
his deviations, though conspicuous enough while they lasted, were 
only occasional, and at long intervals, the intervening time being 
occupied in abstemious application to his studies. Doubtless, too, 
the supposed obstacles in the way of his success, were greatly exag- 
gerated, the vulgar having a great proneness to magnify the frailties 
of great men, and to lionize genius by making it independent for its 
splendid achievements of all external aids. 

" In the examination of witnesses he was thought particularly to 
excel. He wasted no time by irrelevant questions. He seemed to 
weigh every question before he put it, and see clearly its bearing 
upon every part of the case. The facts were brought out in natural 
and simple order. He examined as few witnesses and elicited as few 
facts as he could safely get along with. In this way he avoided the 
danger of discrepancy, and kept his mind undiverted from the con- 
trolling points of the case. The jury were left unwearied and uncon- 
fused, and saw, before the argument, the bearing of the testimony. 

" He avoided, too, the miserable error into which so many lawyers 
fall of making every possible point of a case, and pressing all with 
equal force and confidence, thereby prejudicing the mind of the court 
and making the jury believe that the trial of a cause is but running 
a jockey race. 

" In arguing a cause of much public interest, he got all the bene- 
fit of the sympathy and feeling of the bystanders. He would some- 

28 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

times turn towards them in an impassional appeal, as if looking- 
for a larger audience than court and jury; and the excitement of the 
outsiders, especially in criminal cases, was thrown with great effect 
into the jury box. 

' ' Mr. Prentiss was never thrown off his guard or seemingly taken 
by surprise. He kept his temper, or if he got furious, there was 
' method in his madness.' 

"With these allowances, however, truth requires the admission 
that Mr. Prentiss did, when at the seat of government, occupy the 
hours usually allotted by the diligent practitioner to books or clients 
in amusements not well suited to prepare him for those great efforts 
which have indissolubly associated his name with the judicial history 
of the State. 

''As an advocate, Mr. Prentiss attained a wider celebrity than as a 
jurist. Indeed, he was more formidable in this than in any other 
department of his profession. Before the Supreme, or Chancery, or 
Circuit Court, upon the law of the case, inferior abilities might set 
off, against greater native powers, superior application and research; 
or the precedents might overpower him; or the learning or judg- 
ment of the bench might come in aid of the right, even when more 
feebly defended than assailed. But what protection had mediocrity, 
or even second-rate talent, against the influences of excitement and 
fascination let loose upon a mercurial jury, at least as easily impressed 
through their passions as their reason ? The boldness of his attacks, 
his iron nerve, his adroitness, his power of debate, the overpowering- 
fire — broadside after broadside — which he poured into the assailable 
points of his adversary, his facility and plainness of illustration, and 
his talent of adapting himself to every mind and character he ad- 
dressed, rendered him on all debatable issues next to irresistible. 
To give him the conclusion was nearly the same thing as to give the 

' ' He had a faculty in speaking I never knew possessed by any 
other person. He seemed to speak without any effort of the will. 
There seemed to be no governing or guiding power to the particular 
faculty called into exercise. It worked on, and its treasures flowed 
spontaneously. There was no air of thought, no elevation, frowning 
or knitting of the brow, no fixing up of the countenance, no pauses 
to collect or arrange his thoughts. All seemed natural and unpre- 
meditated. No one felt uneasy lest he should fail; in his most bril- 
liant flights, the ' empyrean heights ' into which he soared seemed 
to be his natural element, as the upper air the eagle's. 

Sergeant S. Prentiss and His Career. 29 

' 'Among the most powerful of his jury efforts were his speeches 
against Bird for the murder of Cameron, and against Phelps, the 
notorious highway robber and murderer. Both were convicted. 
The former owed his conviction, as General Foote, who defended 
him with great zeal and ability thought, to the transcendent eloquence 
of Prentiss. He was justly convicted, however, as his confession, 
afterwards made, proved. Phelps was one of the most daring and 
desperate of ruffians. He confronted his prosecutor and the court, 
not only with composure, but with scornful and malignant defiance. 
When Prentiss rose to speak, and for some time afterwards, the 
criminal scowled upon him a look of hate and insolence. But when 
the orator, kindling with his subject, turned upon him and poured 
down a stream of burning invective, like lava, upon his head; when 
he depicted the villainy and barbarity of his atrocities; when he 
pictured in dark and dismal colors the fate which awaited him, and 
the awful judgment to be pronounced at another bar upon his crimes, 
when he should be confronted with his innocent victims; when he 
fixed his gaze of concentrated power upon him, the strong man's 
face relaxed, his eyes faltered and fell, until at length, unable to bear 
up any longer, self-convicted, he hid his head beneath the bar, and 
exhibited a picture of ruffian audacity cowed beneath the spell of 
true courage and triumphant genius. Though convicted, he was not 
hung. He broke jail and resisted recapture so desperately that, 
although he was encumbered with his fetters, his pursuers had to kill 
him in self-defense, or permit his escape. 

" In his defense of criminals, in that large class of cases in which 
something of elevation or bravery in some sort redeemed the law- 
lessness of the act, where murder was committed under a sense of 
outrage, or upon sudden resentment, and in a fair combat, his chiv- 
alrous spirit upheld the public sentiment, which, if it did not justify 
that sort of ' wild justice,' could not be brought to punish it igno- 
miniously. His appeals fell like flames on those 

' Souls made of fire and children of sun, 
With whom revenge was virtue.' 

" I have never heard of but one client of his who was convicted 
on the charge of homicide, and he was convicted of one of its lesser 
degrees. So successful was he that the expression — ' Prentiss couldn' t 
clear him,' was a hyperbole that expressed the desperation of a 
criminal's fortunes. 

" Mr. Prentiss was employed only in important cases, and gener- 

30 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

ally as associate counsel, and was thereby relieved of much of the 
preliminary preparation which occupies so much of the time of an 
attorney in getting a case ready for trial. In the Supreme and 
Chancery Courts, he had, of course, only to examine the record and 
prepare his argument. On the circuit his labors were much more 
arduous. The important criminal and civil causes which he argued 
necessarily required consultations with clients, the preparations of 
pleading's and proofs, either under his supervision, or by his advice 
and direction, and this, from the number and difficulty of the cases, 
must have consumed time and required application and industry. 

' 'At the time of whic h I speak his long vigils and continued 
excitement, did not enfeeble his energies. Indeed, he has been 
known to assert that he felt brighter and in better preparation for 
forensic debate after sitting up all night in company with his friends 
than at any other time. He required less sleep, probably, than any 
man in the State, seldom devoting to that purpose more than three 
or four hours in the twenty-four. After his friends had retired at a 
late hour in the night, or rather at an early hour in the morning, he- 
has been known to get his books and papers and prepare for the 
business of the day. 

' ' His faculty of concentration drew his energies as through a lens, 
upon the subject before him. No matter what he was engaged in, 
his intellect was ceaseless in play and motion. Alike comprehensive 
and systematic in the arrangement of his thoughts, he reproduced 
without difficulty what he had once conceived. 

" Probably something would have still been wanting to explain his 
celerity of preparation for his causes, had not partial nature gifted 
him with the lawyer's highest talent, the acumen which, like instinct, 
enabled him to see the points which the record presented. His gen- 
ius for generalizing saved him, in a moment, the labor of long and 
tedious reflection upon and collection of the several parts of a nar- 
rative. He read with great rapidity; glancing his eyes through a 
page he caught the substance of its contents at a view. His analysis 
too, was powerful. The chemist does not reduce the contents of his 
alembic to their elements more rapidly or surely than he resolved the 
most complicated facts into primary principles. 

" His statements — like those of all great lawyers — were clear, con- 
spicuous and compact; the language simple and sententious. Con- 
sidered in the most technical sense, as forensic arguments merely, no 
one will deny that his speeches were admirable and able efforts. If 
the professional reader will turn to the meagre reports of his argu- 

Sergeant S. Prentiss and His Career. 


ments on the cases of Poss v. Vertner, 5 How., 305; Vick et a/, v. 
the Mayor and Aldermen of Vicksburg, 1 How., 381; and the Playi- 
ters Bayik v. Snodgrass etal, he will I think, concur in this opinion. 

"Anecdotes are not wanting to show that even in the Supreme 
Court he argued some cases of great importance without knowing 
anything about them till the argument was commenced. One of 
these savors of the ludicrous. Mr. Prentiss was retained, as asso- 
ciate counsel, with Mr. (now General) M , at that time one of 

the most promising, as now one of the most distinguished, lawyers 
in the State. During the sesssion of the Supreme Court at which 

the case was to come up, Mr. M called Mr. P.'s attention to the 

case and proposed examining the record together; but for some 
reason this was deferred for some time. At last it was agreed to 
examine into the case the night before the day set for the hearing. 

At the appointed time Prentiss could not be found. Mr. M was 

in great perplexity. The case was of great importance; there were 
able opposing counsel, and his client and himself had trusted greatly 
to Mr. P.'s assistance. Prentiss appeared in the court-room when 
the case was called up. The junior counsel opened the case, read- 
ing slowly from the record all that was necessary to give a clear per- 
ception of its merits, and made the points and read the authorities 
he had collected. The counsel on the other side replied. Mr. P. 
rose to rejoin. The junior could scarcely conceal his apprehensions. 
But there was no cloud on the brow of the speaker; the conscious- 
ness of his power and approaching victory sat on his face. He 
commenced, as he always did, by stating clearly the case and the 
questions raised by the facts. He proceeded to establish the propo- 
sitions he contended for, by their reason, by authorities and collateral 
analogies, and to illustrate them from his copious resources of com- 
parison. He took up, one by one, the arguments of the other side, 
and showed their fallacy; he examined the authorities relied upon in 
the order in which they were introduced, and showed their inapplica- 
bility and the distinction between the facts of the cases reported and 
those in the case at bar. Then, returning to the authorities of his 
colleague, he showed how clearly, in application and principle, they 
supported his own argument. When he had sat down his colleague 
declared that Prentiss had taught him more of the case than he had 
gathered from his own researches and reflection. 

"Mr. Prentiss had scarcely passed a decade from his majority 
when he was the idol of Mississippi. While absent from the State 
his name was brought before the people for Congress, the State then 

32 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

voting by general ticket and electing two members. He was elected, 
the sitting members declining to present themselves before the peo- 
ple, upon the claim that they were elected at the special election 
ordered by Governor Lynch, for two years, and not for the called 
session merely. Mr. Prentiss, with Mr. Word, his colleague, went 
on to Washington to claim his seat. He was admitted to the bar of 
the House to defend and assert his right. He then delivered that 
speech which took the House and the country by storm; an effort, 
which, if his fame rested upon it alone, for its manliness of tone, 
exquisite satire, gorgeous imagery and argumentative power, would 
have rendered his name imperishable. The House, opposed to him 
as it was in political sentiment, reversed its former judgment, which 
declared Gholson and Claiborne entitled to their seats, and divided 
equally on the question of admitting Prentiss and Word. The 
Speaker, however, gave the casting vote against the latter, and the 
election was referred back to the people. 

" Mr. Prentiss addressed a circular to the voters of Mississippi, in 
which he announced his intention to canvass the State. The applause 
which greeted him at Washington, and which attended the speeches 
he was called upon to make in the north, came thundering back to 
his adopted State. His friends, and their name was legion, thought 
before that his talents were of the highest order, and when their 
judgments were thus confirmed — when they received the endorse- 
ments of such men as Clay, Webster and Calhoun, they felt a kind 
of personal interest in him; he was their Prentiss. They had first 
discovered him — first brought him out — first proclaimed his great- 
ness. Their excitement knew no bounds. Political considerations, 
too, doubtless had their weight. The canvass opened — it was less a 
canvass than an ovation. He went through the State, a herculean 
task, making speeches every day, except Sundays, in the sultry 
months of summer and fall. The people of all classes and both 
sexes turned out to hear him: He came, as he declared, less on his 
own errand than theirs, to vindicate a violated constitution, to rebuke 
the insult to the honor and sovereignty of the State, to uphold the 
sacred right of the people to elect their own rulers. The theme was 
worthy of the orator, the orator of the subject. 

"This period may be considered the golden prime of the genius 
of Prentiss. His real effective greatness here attained its culminating 
point. He had the whole State for his audience, the honor of the 
State for his subject. He came well armed and well equipped for 
the warfare. Not content with challenging his competitors to the 

Sergeant S. Prentiss and His Career. 33 

field, he threw down the gauntlet to all comers. Party or ambition, 
or some other motive, constrained several gentlemen — famous before, 
notorious afterwards — to meet him. In every instance of such te- 
merity, the opposer was made to bite the dust. 

"The ladies surrounded the rostrum with their carriages, and 
added by their beauty, interest to the scene. There was no element 
or oratory that his genius did not supply. It was plain to see where 
his boyhood had drawn its romantic inspiration. His imagination 
was colored and imbued with the light of the shadowy past, and was 
richly stored with the unreal but life-like creations which the genius 
of Shakespeare and Scott had evoked from the ideal world. He 
had lingered spellbound, among the scenes of mediaeval chivalry. 
His spirit had dwelt, until almost naturalized, in the mystic dream- 
land they peopled — among paladins and crusaders and Knights 
Templar; with Monmouth and Percy — with Bois-Gilbert and Ivan- 
hoe, and the bold McGregor — with the cavaliers of Rupert, and the 
iron enthusiasts of Fairfax. As Judge Bullard remarks of him, he 
had the talent of an Italian improvisatore, and could speak the 
thoughts of poetry with the inspiration of oratory, and in the tones 
of music. The fluency of his speech was unbroken — no syllable un- 
pronounced — not a ripple on the smooth and brilliant tide. Probably 
he never hesitated for a word in his life. His diction adapted itself 
without effort to the thought; now easy and familiar, now stately and 
dignified, now beautiful and varied as the hues of the rainbow; again 
compact, even rugged in sinewy strength, or lofty and grand in elo- 
quent declamation. 

" His face and manner were alike uncommon. The turn of his 
head was like Byron's; the face and the action were just what the 
mind made them. The excitement of the features, the motions of 
the head and body, the gesticulation he used, were all in absolute 
harmony with the words you heard. You saw and took cognizance 
of the general effect only; the particular instrumentalities did not 
strike you; they certainly did not call off attention to themselves. 
How a countenance so redolent of good humor as his, at times, 
could so soon be overcast, and express such intense bitterness, 
seemed a marvel. But bitterness and angry passions were probably, 
as strongly implanted in him as any other sentiments or qualities. 

" There was much about him to remind you of Byron — the cast of 
the head, the classic features, the fiery and restive nature, the moral 
and personal daring, the imaginative and poetical temperament, the 
scorn and deep passion, the deformity of which I have spoken, the 

34 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

satiric wit, the craving for excitement, and the air of melancholy he 
sometimes wore, his early neglect, and the imagined slights put upon 
him in his unfriendly youth, the collisions, mental and physical, 
which he had with others, his brilliant and sudden reputation, and 
the romantic interest which invested him, make up a list of corres- 
pondences, still further increased, alas! by his untimely death. 

"With such abilities as we have alluded to, and surrounded by 
such circumstances, he prosecuted the canvass, making himself the 
equal favorite of all classes. Old Democrats were seen with tears 
running down their cheeks, laughing hysterically, and some, who, 
ever since the formation of the parties, had voted the Democratic 
ticket from coroner up to governor, threw up their hats and shouted 
for him. He was returned to Congress by a large majority, leading 
his colleague, who ran on precisely the same question, by more than 
1,000 votes. 

" The political career of Mr. Prentiss after this time is a matter of 
public history, and I do not propose to refer to it. 

"After his return from Congress, Mr. Prentiss continued to devote 
himself to his profession, but subsequently to 1841 or 1842, he was 
more engaged in closing up his old business than in prosecuting new. 
Some year or two afterwards the suit which involved his fortune was 
determined against him in the Supreme Court of the United States, 
and he found himself by this event, aggravated as it was by his im- 
mense liabilities for others, deprived of the accumulations of years 
of successful practice, and again dependent upon his own exertions 
for the support of himself and others now placed under his protec- 
tion. In the meantime the profession in Mississippi had become less 
remunerative and more laborious. Bearing up with an unbroken 
spirit against adverse fortune, he determined to try a new theatre, 
where his talents might have larger scope. For this purpose he re- 
moved to the city of New Orleans, and was admitted to the bar 
there. How rapidly he rose to a position among the leaders of that 
bar, and how near he seemed to be to its first honors, the country 
knows. The energy with which he addressed himself to the task of 
mastering the peculiar jurisprudence of Louisiana, and the success 
with which his efforts were crowned are not the least of the splendid 
achievements of this distinguished gentleman. 

" The danger is not that we shall be misconstrued in regard to the 
rude sketch we have given of Mr. Prentiss in any such matter as to 
leave the impression that we are prejudiced against, or have under- 
rated the character of, that gentleman. We are conscious of having 

Sergeant 8. Prentiss and His Career. 35 

written in no unkind or unloving spirit of one whom, in life, we hon- 
ored, and whose memory is still dear to us; the danger is elsewhere. 
It is two-fold: that we may be supposed to have assigned to Prentiss 
a higher order of abilities than he possessed; and, in the second 
place, that we have presented for undistinguishing admiration, a 
character, some of the elements of which do not deserve to be ad- 
mired or imitated — and, indeed, which are of most perilous example, 
especially to warm-blooded youth. As to the first objection, we feel 
sure that we are not mistaken, and even did we distrust our own 
judgment, we would be confirmed by Sharkey, Boyd, Williamson, 
Guion, Quitman, to say nothing of the commendations of Clay, 
Webster and Calhoun, "the immortal three," whose opinions as to 
Prentiss' talents would be considered extravagant if they did not 
carry with them the imprimatur of their own great names. But we 
confess to the danger implied in the second suggestion. With all 
our admiration for Prentiss — much as his memory is endeared to us, 
however, the faults of his character and the irregularities of his life 
may be palliated by the peculiar circumstances which pressed upon 
idiosyncracies of his temper and mind almost as peculiar as those 
circumstances — it cannot be denied, and it ought not to be concealed, 
that the influence of Prentiss upon men, especially upon the young 
men of his time and association, was hurtful. True, he had some 
attributes worthy of unlimited admiration, and he did some things 
which the best men might take as examples for imitation. He was a 
noble, whole-souled, magnanimous man, as pure of honor, as lofty 
in chivalric bearing as the heroes of romance; but, mixed with these 
brilliant qualities were vices of mind and habit, which those fascinat- 
ing graces rendered doubly dangerous, for vice is more easily copied 
than virtue, and in the partnership between virtue and vice, vice sub- 
sidizes virtue to its uses. Prentiss lacked regular, self-denying, 
systematic application. He accomplished a great deal, but not a 
great deal for his capital; if he did more than most men, he did less 
than the task of such a man; if he gathered much, he wasted and 
scattered more. He wanted the great essential of a true, genuine, 
moral greatness; these were not above his intellect — above his strong 
array of strong powers and glittering faculties — above the fierce hosts 
of passion in his soul — a presiding spirit of duty. Life was no trust 
to him; it was a thing to be enjoyed — a bright holiday season, a gala 
day, to be spent freely and carelessly, a gift to be decked out with 
brilliant deeds and eloquent words and all the gewgaws of fancy, and 
to be laid down bravely when the evening star should succeed the 


36 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

bright sun, and the dews begin to fall softly upon the green earth. 
True, he labored more than most men, but he labored as he frolicked, 
because his mind could not be idle, but burst into work as by the 
irrepressible instinct with which he sought occupation as an outlet to 
intellectual excitement, but what he accomplished was nothing to the 
measure of his powers. He studied more than he seemed to study, 
more, probably, than he cared to have it believed he studied. But 
he could accomplish with only slender effort the end for which less 
gifted men must delve and toil and slave. But the imitators, the 
many youths of warm passions and high hopes, ambitious of distinc- 
tion, yet solicitous of pleasure, blinded by the glare of Prentiss' elo- 
quence, the corruscations of a wit and fancy through which his 
speeches were borne as a stately ship through the phosphorescent 
waves of a tropical sea — what example was it to them to see the re- 
nown of the forum, the eloquence of the hustings, the triumphs of 
the senate associated with the faro table, the midnight revel, the 
drunken carouse, the loose talk of the board laden with wine and 
cards ? What Prentiss effected they failed in compassing. Like a 
chamois hunter full of life and vigor and courage, supported by the 
spear of his genius — potent as Ithuriel's — Prentiss sprang up the 
steeps and leaped over the chasms on his way to the mount where 
the ' proud temple ' shines above cloud and storm, but mediocrity, 
in essaying to follow him, but made ridiculous the enterprise which 
only such a man with such aids could accomplish. And even he, 
not wisely or well; the penalty came at last, as it must ever come for 
a violation of natural or moral laws. He lived in pain and poverty, 
drooping in spirit, exhausted in mind and body, to lament that wast- 
ing of life and health and genius, which, unwasted, in the heyday of 
existence, and in the meridian luster of his unrivaled powers, might 
have opened for himself and for his country a career of usefulness 
and just renown scarcely paralleled by the most honored and loved 
of all the land. 

' ' If to squander such rare gifts were a grievous fault, grievously 
hath this erring child of genius answered it. But painfully making 
this concession, forced alone by the truth, it iswith pleasure we can 
say, that, with this deduction from Prentiss' claims to reverence and 
honor, there yet remains so much of force and brilliancy in the 
character, so much that is honorable, and noble, and generous, so 
much of a manhood whose robust and masculine virtues are set off 
by the wild and lovely graces that tempered and adorned his strength, 
that we feel drawn to it not less to admire than to love. 

Sergeant S. Prentiss and Mis Career. 37 

" In the midst of his budding prospects, rapidly ripening into fru- 
ition, insidious disease attacked him. It was long hoped that the 
close and fibrous system which had, seemingly, defied all the laws of 
nature, would prove superior to this malady. His unconquerable 
will bore him up long against its attacks. Indeed, it seemed that 
only death itself could subdue that fiery and unextinguishable energy. 
He made his last great effort, breathing in its feeble accents, but a 
more touching and affecting pathos and a more persuasive eloquence 
in behalf of Lopez, charged with the offence of fitting out an expe- 
dition against Cuba. So weak was he that he was compelled to de- 
liver in a sitting posture, and was carried, after its delivery, exhausted 
from the bar. 

"Not long after this time, in a state of complete prostration, he 
was taken in a steamboat from New Orleans to Natchez, under the 
care of some faithful friends. The opiates given him and the ex- 
haustion of nature had dethroned his imperial reason, and the great 
advocate talked wildly of some trial in which he supposed he was 
engaged. When he reached Natchez he was taken to the residence 
of a relation, and from that time, only for a moment, did a glance of 
recognition fall, lighting up for an instant his pallid features, upon 
his wife and children weeping around his bed. On the morning of 
July i, 1850, died this remarkable man in the forty-second year of 
his age. What he was we know. What he might have been, after 
a mature age and a riper wisdom we cannot tell. But that he was 
capable of commanding the loftiest heights of fame, and marking 
his name and character upon the age he lived in we verily believe. 

"But he has gone. He died, and lies buried near that noble 
river which first, when a raw Yankee boy, caught his poetic eye, and 
stirred by its aspect of grandeur his sublime imagination; upon 
whose shores first fell his burning and impassioned words as they 
iroused the rapturous applause of his astonished auditors. And 
long will that noble river flow out its tide into the gulf ere the roar 
of its current shall mingle with the tones of such eloquence again — 
eloquence as full and majestic, as resistless and sublime, and as wild 
in its sweep as its own sea-like flood — 

" ' The mightiest river 

Rolls mingling- with his fame forever.' 

' The tidings of his death came like wailing over the State, and 
we all heard them as the toll of the bell for a brother's funeral. The 
:hivalrous felt when they heard that ' young Harry Percy's spur was 

38 . Southern Historical Society Papers. 

cold ' that the world had somehow grown commonplace, and the 
men of wit and genius, or those who could appreciate such qualities 
in others, looking over the surviving bar, exclaimed with a sigh: 

" ' The blaze of wit, the flash of bright intelligence, 
The beam of social eloquence, 
Sunk with his sun.' " 


Report of its Operations, April 3=6, 1865, when it was captured 
with Lee's Division at Sailor's Creek. 

This, printed from the original manuscript, was recently supplied 
by General G. W. Custis Lee, late President Washington and Lee 
University : 

Savannah, March j, 1866. 

Major- General G. W. C. Lee, Commanding Lee 's Division, 

EiveW s Corps, Ainny Northern Virginia. 

In compliance with your request that I would communicate 
in an official form such information as I may possess of the opera- 
tions of Crutchfield's Brigade, from the evacuation of the lines on 
the north of the James river to the capture of the Division at Sailors' 
Creek, on the 6th April, 1865, I have the honor to report as fol- 

The Brigade consisted of the 10th, 18th, 19th and 20th Virginia 
Battalions of artillery, the Chafhn's Bluff garrison composed of five 
unattached Virginia companies of artillery, temporarily organized as 
a battalion, and the 18th Georgia battalion. 

These battalions were organized in pairs, and commanded as fol- 
lows: The Chamn's Bluff battalion and the 18th Georgia by Major 
W. H. Gibbes; the 18th and 19th Virginia by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Howard; the 10th and 20th Virginia by Lieutenant-Colonel Atkin- 

I need not recapitulate the circumstances of the march; nor en- 
large on the starving condition of the troops, further than to say 

Crulchfield's Artillery Brigade. 39 

that from the commencement of the movement to the moment of our 
falling into the hands of the enemy, the only stores issued were, one 
pound of meal and one-third of a pound of bacon. These were is- 
sued on the afternoon of the 4th, and so far as I was informed, only 
to this brigade; the Brigade Commissary having, fortunatly, that 
small supply on hand. 

We saw or heard no signs of the enemy until the 5th, when re- 
ports of small arms at some distance indicated their approach. 
Having passed Amelia Court House several miles, several companies, 
from the Chaffin's Bluff Battalion, and from the battalion under Col- 
onel Atkinson's command, were deployed as skirmishers on the left 
of the line of march, and continued to march in that order and 
position, parallel to the column, during all that day and night. But 
there was no appearance of an enemy until about 10 o'clock that 
night, when we were fired upon by what was supposed to be a small 
advanced party of the enemy's cavalry. 

About 10 or 11 o'clock on the morning of the 6th the enemy being 
discovered in close proximity, the brigade was formed in line of battle 
faced to the left. I presumed to cover the passage of the trains. 
But the enemy contented himself with shelling the trains and the 
road by which the troops passed. But no one was hurt. 

After crossing Sailor's Creek, and while halted near the crest of 
the hill beyond it, the enemy was discovered advancing in heavy 
force towards our left and rear. His artillery came up rapidly and 
took position on the summit of the hill we had recently passed over, 
on the other side of the creek, near the houses of Hillsmans' farm, 
and not more than 350 and 400 yards from us, as I have ascertained 
by a subsequent careful examination of the ground. 

The division immediately formed line, faced to the rear, about 
one-third of the distance down the hill, Crutchfield's Brigade on the 
right. But before the line was formed, and while the greater part of 
the troops were yet moving to their position, the enemy opened fire 
with case, shells, and canister. 

The 1 8th Georgia was on the extreme right of the brigade; next 
stood the Chaffin's Bluff troops, Major Robert Stiles. In conse- 
quence of the transfer of Major Gibbes on the day previous, to 
Hardaway's Battalion of Artillery, the command of these two bat- 
talions had devolved on myself. The conformation of the ground 
was such that I could see distinctly only these two battalions after 
getting into position. Consequently, whatever I have to state, 
further relates to them alone. 

40 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

The different battalions moved up successively from right to left. 
No sooner were the colors of the 18th Georgia and Chafhn's Bluff 
troops established, than the enemy directed his fire upon those com- 
mands with great rapidity and accuracy. But both battalions 
dressed up to their colors with as much steadiness and formality as 
if on parade. I observed particularly the Chaffm's Bluff companies, 
as I was told they had never before been engaged. There was 
something surprising in their perfect steadiness and order. By this 
time many casualties having occured, and the enemy's fire becoming 
remarkably accurate and severe, the troops were directed to lie down 
in their places. But notwithstanding this precaution, many of Major 
Stiles' command were killed and wounded. The 18th Georgia suf- 
fered not at all, as they lay in a slight depression of the ground. I 
do not think I had a man hurt by artillery during the engagement 

Covered by his artillery the enemy moved up his infantry in three 
lines of battle, preceded by skirmishers. As soon as our own skirm- 
ishers had retired, they were received with a general discharge from 
our whole line, which speedily threw their first line into confusion, 
killing and wounding considerable numbers. 

Unable to face our fire, that line fell back in disorder, which, as I 
was afterwards told, they communicated to their second line. Such 
was the eagerness of Major Stiles' men, that upon perceiving the 
enemy's hesitation, they sprang up from their recumbent attitude 
and rushed upon them, fixing bayonets as they advanced; and it was 
with difficulty that Major Stiles and I could check them and restore 
the line. I was also afterwards informed, by other officers of the bri- 
gade that the enemy's second line was broken in a similar manner by 
our fire, and that his third line was met by ours in a general advance 
with the bayonet, and driven back beyond the creek, when the flag 
of truce appeared announcing the surrender of the whole corps by 
General Ewell. 

I communicate information received from others of what did not 
fall under my own observation, for the sake of the corroboration it 
may give to statements from other quarters. After the restoration of 
our line, broken, as just stated, by the precipitate charge of Major 
Stiles' command, my attention was confined to what took place on 
our extreme right, and I saw no more of the general engagement. 
And if I go on to recount too minutely what may be considered one 
of the minor events of the field, I trust it may be pardoned as a just 
tribute to the splendid courage and unfaltering devotion to the cause 
of their country of my brave battalion. No words of mine seem 

CrutchfiekVs Artillery Brigade. 41 

adequate to praise them as they deserve. But while I have an 
opportunity to speak, the living must not lose, through my silence, 
their claim to the gratitude of their country, nor the dead that hon- 
orable mention which belongs to the soldier who falls in a righteous 

I have before stated that my battalion was on the extreme right of 
the brigade. Its right rested on the road by which we had inarched 
after crossing the creek. On the other side of the road was a dense 
pine thicket, which concealed all beyond from view. Perhaps you 
will recollect passing the command early in the engagement, and 
telling me I might feel secure about my flank, as Kershaw's Division 
was beyond the thicket; as I understood matters, with his extreme 
left covering our flank, his line being at right angles to ours. 

After re-establishing Major Stiles' Battalion, I passed up to our 
right. I had scarcely got there, when I perceived a large body of 
the enemy advancing through the thicket diagonally upon our flank, 
and already within about forty yards. They could not have been 
seen at a greater distance, so close were the trees. I had but eighty- 
five men, but I could not leave the spot, nor was there a moment to 
spare. I changed front instantly (receiving, as the movement was 
made, a volley which proved fatal to several), and took position in 
a wide and shallow gully at the road-side. Perceiving that the 
superior numbers of the enemy would enable him to destroy us by 
his fire, I ordered bayonets fixed and attacked. 

Through the extraordinary gallantry of the men, the attack was 
entirely successful. Many of the enemy were killed with the bayo- 
net, and the rest were driven off in disorder, after a desperate strug- 
gle, distinguished by many acts of individual heroism. Lieutenant 
G. M. Turner, though previously wounded on the skirmish line, 
joined in the charge, and was shot down in the act of saving the life 
of a comrade. Lieutenant W. D. Grant took a regimental flag from 
the hands of its bearer, and was prostrated by mortal wounds imme- 
diately after delivering it to me. Sergeant George James is reported 
to have taken another, and fell shortly after. Captain G. C. Rice 
was overpowered by an officer of the enemy of greatly superior size 
and strength, in Confederate uniform, and was shot by him on the 
ground, after he had surrendered. Lieutenant W. H. King revenged 
him, and was himself killed on the instant. Sergeant C. B. Postell, 
with three or four others, was surrounded by a party of the enemy, 
and refusing to yield, was killed with all his comrades. Lieutenant 

42 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

F. Tupper, pursuing too far, fell mortally wounded on the bank of 
the creek, about ^oo yards from our position. 

I hope I did not commit an error in taking this course. The 
safety of the brigade was at stake. If my brave fellows had flinched 
or given way, the enemy would have thrown himself on our flank, 
and the general loss must have been much greater than it was. 

I had scarcely reassembled the remnant of the battalion in its origi- 
nal position, with but one officer unwounded besides myself, when 
you passed by and reassured me as to my apprehensions of further 
molestation from that quarter by the information that other troops 
had been sent to guard that approach. They probably never reached 
their destination; for in a very few minutes another but smaller body 
of the enemy came on over the same ground. Supposing them to 
be some of our own troops giving way, I took my men out to rally 
them, and discovered that they were enemies only when within a 
few paces. I attempted, as our only recourse, to repeat the attack 
which has just terminated so well; but overpowered by superior num- 
bers, though fighting to the last, all the rest of the command were 
killed, wounded or taken. Sergeants R. Millen and S. Morton stood 
to the last before their colors, keeping at bay a party of about fifty 
men, and were the last to fall. 

Seeing then but one officer and the non-commissioned staff remain- 
ing, I displayed my handkerchief in token of surrender. As I did 
so, the enemy, hitherto sheltering themselves behind the trees, rushed 
into the road, and fired upon my wounded who lay in the gully be- 
fore mentioned. It was with the greatest difficulty they could be 
induced to cease from this barbarity. I mention this closing incident 
as one more of the numerous atrocities which indicated the relentless 
spirit in which the war was waged against us. 

The loss in the 18th Georgia Battalion was thirty killed, including 
those who subsequently died of their wounds, and twenty-two 
wounded; in all sixty-one per cent, of the number engaged. 

Major Stiles conjectured the loss in his command to have been 
about ioo in killed and wounded. I do not know of any attempt to 
estimate the loss in the rest of the brigade. 

Having subsequently re-visited the field and passed some days in 
its immediate vicinity, I was informed by one of the neighboring 
residents that the troops encountered by my battalion were Hamb- 
lin's Brigade of the 6th Corps, consisting of three regiments, of 
which one-half were ordered forward at each time. 

Grutchfield's Artillery Brigade. 48 

The information was obtained from General Hamblin himself, who 
further admitted that he suffered very severely and lost six colors. 
As I heard of but two regimental flags, I presume the others were 
markers' flags. Indeed, one of my men told me that he saw Lieu- 
tenant King, whose death is above-mentioned, with two markers' 
flags shortly before he fell. It seems scarcely possible that this bat- 
talion could have contended successfully with even a single regiment 
unless reduced to its own feeble dimensions. It can be explained, 
however, by the fact that they were thrown into some disorder by 
the closeness of the thicket through which they advanced, and being 
thus caught in detail by a sudden attack had no opportunity to re- 
cover themselves. 

I have thus, General, given an account, perhaps too detailed, of 
the fortunes of the brigade from the evacuation to its capture, in 
what fell under my own observation. If anything is omitted which 
was stated in my former communication in unofficial form, I beg you 
will make the necessary corrections and additions. I have been 
more minute than would have been necessary or, perhaps, even 
proper, under other circumstances. But I feel with you that since 
they have lost all else, we ought to save for our brave soldiers all the 
honors they so hardly won. All their toils and sufferings and dan- 
gers have been apparently in vain; but they fought in a just cause, 
and if they did not achieve success they at least deserved it. I await 
with impatience the day when the world will do justice to our coun- 
try and our countrymen. I have the honor to remain, General, 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

Wm. S. Basinger, 
Major Com' d' g 18th Georgia Battalion. 

List of Casualties in the 18th Georgia Battalion, G. IV. C Lee's 
Division, EwelV s Corps, in the Battle of Hillmari *s Farm, or 
Sailor Creek, Va., April 6, 1865 : 

Field and Staff — Wounded — Major William S. Basinger, Lieutenant 
E. P. Starr, Adjutant. 

Company A, Lieutenant W. H. King, Commanding: 

Killed — Lieutenant Wm. H. King; Sergeants R. Millen, W. H. 

44 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Bennett; Privates Henry Crook, E. L. Gordon, J. W. Myddleton, 
John Vicars. 

Wounded — Lieutenant Fred A. Tupper; Sergeant Harry H. Wood- 
bridge; Corporal H. Barrs; Privates James Belote, J. S. Gans, J. 
Hitchcock, B. Newbern, J. T. Smith, S. Syntis B. Green. 

Company B, Lieutenant Geo. D. Smith, Commanding: 

Killed — Sergeants Chase B. Postell, Sim Moreton; Privates E. L. 
Barie, Jas. C. Bryan. 

Wounded — Lieutenants Geo. D. Smith, Wm D. Grant; Sergeant 
E. C. Wade; Privates Percy Elliott, F. Kreeger, J. Darracott, J. 
Douglass, J. N. Guerard, T. Kreeger, J. H. Polk, J. H. Butler. 

Company C, Captain Gilbert C. Rice Commanding: 

Killed — Captain G. C. Rice; Lieutenant George M. Turner; 
Sergeant George E. James; Privates B. Abney, Alfred O. Bowne, 
Jacob Gould, John H. Mcintosh, Ed. A. Papy, B. J. Rouse; Cor- 
poral W. H. Rice. 

Wounded — Lieutenants Eugene T. Blois, John R. Dillon; Ser- 
geants F. Ripon Sweat, Bayard J. Mcintosh, Chas. R. Maxwell, M. 
McLean, C. J. Sweat, Albert Folker. 

Died Since of their Woimds — Company A: Lieutenant Fred A. 
Tupper; Private B. Green. Company B: Lieutenants George D. 
Smith, Wm. D. Grant; Sergeant E. C. Wade; Privates Percy Elli- 
ott, F. Kreeger, F. N. Guerard. Company C: Lieutenant Eugene 
T. Blois. 

The balance of the command were either captured unhurt after 
the fight, or escaped and were present at the surrender. 

An Alabama Heroine. 45 



Who Piloted General Forrest across Black Creek, in his Famous Pursuit 

and Capture of Col. A. D. Streight. 

With an Account of the Surrender by Gen. D. H. Maury. 

The eloquent address of General Dabney H. Maury — "The 
Wizard of the West " — lingers a delight in the minds of those who 
fortunately heard it. 

His vivid portrayal of the characteristics and stirring recital of the 
remarkable achievements of Lieutenant-General Nathan Bedford 
Forrest, has re-incited deep interest in the phenomenal leader. Any 
illustration of his brilliant career, even unpretentious, maybe deemed 
acceptable to the public. 

The narrative of a follower of the great soldier, which is presented, 
was sent the Editor by Mr. W. L. Fleming, a librarian of the A. & 
M. College, Auburn, Ala. 

In the early part of April, 1863, the commander of the Federal 
forces in Tennessee determined to send a strong raiding party around 
the Confederate forces under Gen. Bragg for the purpose of destroy- 
ing the railroads and cutting off supplies and reinforcements, and 
also to destroy the extensive Confederate works then at Rome, Ga. 

For this daring purpose Col. Abel D. Streight, of Indiana, was 
selected, and he was given command of 2,000 picked Western men, 
well mounted and armed with the best arms in the Federal service. 
To this party was also attached a section of the 6th Ohio Light Bat- 
tery. Streight' s party was accompanied by a strong force of infantry 
and artillery as far as the Tennessee valley to create a diversion while 
he should pass the Confederates under Gen. N. B. Forrest. 

The combined commands of the Federals landed and crossed the 
Tennessee river below Tuscumbia, in the extreme northwestern part 
of the State of Alabama. They made their way up the valley, driv- 
ing back the small cavalry force of the Confederates which was in 
their front; the Confederates then being scattered over the whole 
north line of Alabama. When Town creek was reached Forrest 

46 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

made a stand, having received some reinforcements of cavalry, and 
with Ferrell's Battery and a section of Freman's Battery. The com- 
mand was posted on the east side of Town creek, between the ford 
and railroad bridge. Here an artillery duel was kept up with the 
Federal host on the west side, which lasted nearly a whole day. 
During the day it seemed that the Yankees were trying to cross the 
creek at the ford, the creek being considerably swollen from recent 
rains. Gen. Forrest ordered the writer to take one of the guns of 
Ferrell's Battery and go down and drive the enemy from the ford. 
I took a twelve-pounder field-howitzer, and went down near the ford 
and scattered them effectually, and drove them back to their main 
lines, following them up with my shells as they retreated. For this 
service I was complimented by Gen. Forrest, who declared we did 
"the best shooting he ever saw." 

About the time I ceased firing it seemed that all the Yankee bat- 
teries had concentrated their fire on my little party, but fortunately 
they could not depress their guns sufficiently to harm us. Their 
shot and shells passed over our heads. 

Just before night our command moved back to Courtland. Big 
Nance creek being very high, the drivers swam their horses across 
at the ford and the cannoneers passed the pieces over the railroad 
bridge by hand. We remained in the streets of Courtland during 
the night. It seems that Colonel Streight left the main command 
while we were engaged in the artillery duel the day before, and Gen- 
eral Forrest had " caught on " to it, for we left Courtland early the 
next morning, and went up the mountain leaving a portion of Gen- 
eral Roddy's command under Major Moreland in the valley. Here 
we first heard of the raiding party under Colonel Streight and got 
on his track. I remember General Forrest telling us that "they, 
the Yankees, were taking the rings off the gals fingers," and that 
"we would take them back when we caught them," after a rest of 
about an hour, the command moved forward at a lively gait as the 
trail was a warm one. We continued the pursuit in a southeasterly 
direction. We found that the Yankees had taken or destroyed 
everything in the way of food or forage as they passed. The flour 
and meal that they did not use was thrown into the road and well 
mixed with dirt and sand so as to be useless to us. 

In crossing a bad mud hole with " corduroy " made of poles and 
fence rails where some one had broken his wagon and left it in the 
mire, the cannoneers being afoot, passed over on some logs lying by 
the fence when one spied some bacon sides lying just over the fence 

An Alabama Heroine. 47 

in the bushes and briars; I told them to get it, and had a hole cut in 
them, and then had them put on the spindle of the spare wheel on 
our caissons. It proved to be a godsend, for we had nothing else 
to eat. 

That night we saw lights ahead on the mountain, which it seems 
was the camp of the raiders. Ferrell's Battery and a part of the 
command was sent to the right, while the section of Freeman's Bat- 
tery and another part of the command went to the left. We on the 
right were apparently near enough to have reached their camp with 
our shells, and I was asked what I could do, but the elevation was 
too great for field pieces. 

Early the next morning we were ordered to move rapidly around 
the mountain to the left, where we heard heavy firing. It seems that 
Gen. Forrest had attacked them on the mountain at Day's gap with 
a part of his command and with the section of Freeman's Battery, 
and had been repulsed with the loss of Freeman's guns and a number 
of men. I think his brother, Bill Forrest, was either killed or se- 
verely wounded there. When we arrived the command immediately 
moved forward up the mountain, and on reaching the top our line 
was formed, and we moved forward. We soon came to the line of 
the Yankees, who gave us a heavy volley and retreated. "That's 
h — 1, to let them all get away," I heard some one say just coming 
up behind me. I looked around, and saw it was Gen. Forrest. He 
ordered "forward," and away we went. We pressed them so closely 
that day that late in the evening they abandoned the guns that they 
had taken from Freeman. Streight made a stand at every creek or 
stream on the way, and burnt all the bridges. The battery was or- 
dered up on most of these occasions, and after giving them a few 
rounds of shell or shrapnel, and sometimes cannister, the cavalry 
would charge them and carry the position, and so it would go to the 
next creek. Many of these streams were very difficult to cross with 
artillery. Often ammunition would have to be carried over by the 
cavalrymen, each man with a shell; and the men and horses, by the 
use of prolonge ropes, would drag the guns across these rough and 
rocky mountain streams. 

Late that night we came upon them in camp, it was very dark 
and the enemy's fires if they had any, were out, our line was moving 
along slowly, when General Forest suggested they were just in front 
of us. I could not tell whether my front was up hill or down, but 
had the first piece pointed by feeling along the gun with my hand, 
and fired, the guns to the left in the woods following, we drew a 

48 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

heavy volley from the enemy on the first piece, we followed with 
several rounds of shot and shell and moved by hand to the front and 
gave them some canister; then the command moved forward with a 
sheet of flame and we passed through their camp. I saw a number 
of white signals made by their wounded while their horses and mules 
were neighing and braying. " Forward," was the order, and forward 
we went, in passing through the Yankee camp the men hastily 
grabbed up such things as scattered hard tack, little wallets of ground 
coffee, etc. I did not leave the road, and only found a clothes 
brush, which was lying with the bristles up, the row of white bristles 
around the outer edge had caught my eye, though the night was 
dark and I on horseback. 

I don't think that Streight ever attempted to go into camp again, 
or if he did he was not allowed to do so, for the chase was kept up 
day and night, and if they deprived us of something to eat we cer- 
tainly kept them from sleeping. But at every creek or stream they 
would make a stand, and on all such occasions we would shell them 
and then charge, and so on we went, the battery to cross below or 
above the burning bridge as best we could. 

One day in passing a little farm in a valley where the whole family, 
" with their sisters and their cousins and their aunts," were standing 
out in the yard, as I rode up, one of the young women came rushing 
towards me with her arms open, crying "lor' if yonder ain't 
buddy." I suggested that she was mistaken, as I had no sister. 
" Well;" said she, " if you ain't buddy, you are just like him, and I 
will find you some bread," whereupon she rushed back to the house 
and brought me a small piece of bread, the first and only bread I 
had on the road from Tuscumbia to Rome. 

One night the command seemed to come to a halt. I tried to 
"nod" on m/ horse, but could not do so satisfactorily, so I rode 
forward to see what the matter was. We were stopped in a branch 
or swampy place, the drivers were all nodding away on their horses. 
Just after getting out of the bottom I passed along the side of the 
hill in the woods, and I saw lying on the ground, asleep, Captain 
Ferrell, and a few feet farther lay General Forrest also asleep, I 
quietly dismounted and, with my arm through my bridle rein, lay 
down with my back as close to Captain Ferrell as I could get. It 
seemed that I had hardly got to sleep when I was aroused by the 
voice of General Forrest, " Captain Ferrell, move your battery for- 
ward," and forward we moved. 

Late one evening in crossing a stream where there was no bridge, 

An Alabama Heroine. 49 

the Yankees had lost a box of hardtack (crackers) in the stream — of 
course they got wet but that did not soften them — this box of hard- 
tack General Forrest issued out to the command with his own 
hands and of which I did not get one, as Captain Ferrell suggested 
that I " had been given a piece of bread the day before by a young 

Our horses were " giving out " and our teams being reduced, and 
no others to be had, until finally, all the guns and caissons had to be 
left except one six-pounder smoothbore and one twelve-pounder 
field Howitzer, and one caisson; with this section and the pick of the 
horses, we went forward at a somewhat better gait, having eight 
horses to each piece, but even then over the rough mountain roads 
with little or no rest and no food except what little scattered fodder 
the Yankee horses had left in their haste, our horses showed great 
distress. I had just dismounted and put my horse in the place of 
one that had gotten very lame in the battery and was leading him 
rather than to ride, when General Forrest came by and said: ' ' Jones, 
when we catch them Yankees, you shall have the best horse they 
have got." At Blountsville the raiders stopped and fed, and issued 
out their ammunition and rations to their men, then corralled their 
wagons and set them on fire, our men were gathering up the scat- 
tered crumbs of crackers. 

I remember that early one morning, after the usual delay at a 
stream, we got the usual order by a courier, "Gen. Forrest says 
bring up the battery. ' ' There was hard firing in front, and spurring 
and whipping up the poor old jaded horses, we passed through a 
wooded section. I was riding in advance, and coming to a farm 
house on my right (I saw a burning bridge some distance in front), 
in the front yard I saw a beautiful young woman, who eagerly pointed 
me to a ford of the creek some distance above the burning bridge. 
She seemed to take an interest in our success, and "hoped we would 
catch the Yankees," etc. She had piloted Gen. Forrest to the ford, 
and had just got back to the yard as I rode up; indeed, I think she 
was going in at the gate when I first saw her. There was consider- 
able contrast between her acts and words and some of the women 
we had met on our march. Some did not know which were Forrest's 
men nor which the Yankees, and cared less. But we had got over 
the mountains and were now in a more level country. I found the 
old cow ford a very rough one, and on riding over my horse bogged 
in the quicksand, so I had the horses unhitched and taken over, and 
by hitching to the prolonge rope and the men in the water at the 

50 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

wheels, I got over and up the very steep little hill on the east side. 
I learned that the young lady who piloted us to the ford was Miss 
Emma Sansom, and for her services on this occasion the General 
Assembly of Alabama at the session of 1864, by joint resolution, di- 
rected the Governor of the State to issue a patent to her of 160 acres 
of land, and also to have prepared, with a suitable inscription thereon, 
a gold medal, and present the same in the name of the State of Ala- 
bama to her. See Acts of 1864. 

After crossing Black creek we passed on near by the town of 
Gadsden, and a few miles east of that place we had a few rounds 
with the raiders who it seems wanted to stop and feed, and rest a 
little at a beautiful grove on the way. It was here that Colonel 
Hathaway who commanded an Indiana regiment of Straight' s com- 
mand, was mortally wounded and fell from his horse. 

Farther on we came to a river over which was a burning bridge. 
The banks of this stream being very steep and the water being quite 
deep, we had to take out all the ammunition and packing from the 
chests, and have the cavalrymen carry them over on their horses. 
In crossing, our ammunition chests filled with water. The bank on 
the east side was so wet and slick and steep, that I had to hitch to 
the end of the prolong rope and all the men had to push at the 
wheels. As soon as the first piece had crossed and the water had 
run out of the chest, we packed the ammunition back. A courier 
came with orders "bring up the battery quick." Instructing Ser- 
geant R. H. Jackson to cross as quickly as possible and follow, I 
ordered the piece "forward, trot, march" — easier said than done, 
for it was some time before we could get up a trot. But we hobbled 
along as best we could, the drivers spurring and whipping contin- 
ually. We passed a cross road, I think it was Cedar Bluff, and some 
distance east of there the road passed through a wooded section. I 
was riding a little in advance of the piece, when suddenly looking 
up, I saw General Forrest, Captain Pointer, and one or two other of 
our officers, and Colonel Straight and several of his officers sitting . 
down on the north side of the road. I also saw some little distance 
in front a road full of Yankees. Captain Pointer got up and mo- 
tioned for me to halt, he then came up to me and said: "Colonel 
Straight objects to you coming up so close," and directed me to 
"drop back a piece." I asked him what was up, and if Straight 
was going to surrender. " He don't talk like it," said he, " but he 
cusses mightily " (or like a trooper). I had the piece to move back, 
I suppose some 150 yards, and come to an "action front" on the 

An Alabama Heroine. 51 

south side of the narrow road, with one wheel in the road and the other 
in the edge of the woods with men to their posts. After a while Ser- 
geant Jackson came up with the other piece and caisson, and took posi- 
tion in the battery on the other side of the road. After "so long a 
time, ' ' I saw the officers arise and then — move forward, I gave the com- 
mand ' ' limber to the front, ' ' and we marched by column of pieces for- 
ward. On arriving at the next house I came upon the Yankee 
battery standing in the road, and as I rode up the men dismounted 
and I ordered a detail of our men to take charge of it. The main 
body of Streight's men were stacking their arms in a field to the 
front and right of us. They were immediately moved off from their 
guns, and the officers separated from the men. This was done about 
as quickly as I can tell it. 

General Forrest ordered me to take command of the light section 
just captured, and come on and help guard the prisoners, and for 
Captain Ferrell to come on leisurely with his heavier guns. That 
night we had the prisoners in a small field of grain, and after taking 
position with my guns pointing on them, and organizing my detail 
so as to fire with "reduced numbers," I examined my ammunition 
and equipments, and finding no friction primers, lanyards or thumb- 
stalls, I went in among the prisoners and finally found the two gun- 
ners' haversacks containing all these indispensable articles. In going 
among the prisoners I found that they were all stalwart western men. 
I don't remember to have seen a foreigner among them. They 
seemed to be very mad, and cursed long and loud, and seemed to 
have felt that they were duped into surrendering to so small a party. 
We certainly had a light line around them that night. And if they 
had not been "tired and sleepy too," I don't know what might have 
happened; but the prisoners went to preparing their suppers. We 
didn't, for we had none to prepare, except a small piece of the afore- 
said middling meat, which we ate "rare," and committed no waste 
by trimming or washing same — and it had no protection from dust 
and flying horse-hairs either. 

Two hundred of Streight's advance guard who had gone in sight 
of Rome were ordered back and surrendered. 

The next morning we entered Rome, and as soon as we crossed 
the bridge we saw the sidewalks, doors, windows, balconies and 
streets lined with men, women and children, and " Rome was saved." 
But one of the most attractive features to starving men was the wait- 
ers of biscuit and chicken that came from both sides of the streets as 
we passed. We brought up the rear with our light battery, and on 

52 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

coming to the main street I turned up the street, while the prisoners 
were marched down the street towards the old railroad depot. A 
short distance up the main street I found a vacant space in front of 
the mansion of a Mr. Spurlock. There we parked our guns, took 
out the horses, and — all lay down on the ground to rest. I don't 
think I had slept long when I was aroused by Mr. Spurlock — think 
that was his name — who insisted that we should go over to his resi- 
dence and take dinner. We thanked him,- and insisted that we had 
had something to eat, but he would not take such an excuse. The 
truth is we were too dirty and ragged to feel at home in such a nice 
place. Finally Clay Ramsey consented to go with me, and we went 
over. The old gentleman enquired our names and introduced us to 
his daughters, very beautiful young ladies, who entertained us by 
singing and playing on the piano until dinner was announced. Then 
we escorted the young ladies down to the dining-room, and such a 
dinner we had not seen before in years. We tried to do our duty 
towards that dinner, and particularly to the turkey; anyhow, we ate 
with a relish. 

Captain Ferrell camped in another part of the town with his 

While we were at Rome I thought I would get the horse promised 
me by General Forrest, and having great confidence in Captain Fer- 
rell' s judgment of horse flesh, I asked him to take one of the men 
with him and pick out one for me. He did so, and sent me a beau- 
tiful dapple gray horse which the prisoners informed us had belonged 
to Colonel Hathaway, who was killed on him in the engagement 
near Gadsden. I was very proud of my horse for he was indeed a 
beautiful animal. 

In Rome I met several persons that I knew, among them was 
Captain Frank Watkins, now of Opelika, who contributed something 
to my scant wardrobe. And old Nell, Captain Ferrell' s servant, did 
some washing for me while I slept. 

I went to the old store house in Rome where the saddles and bri- 
dles belonging to Streight's command had been deposited, to pick 
me a saddle and bridle, and I never have seen so many saddles and 
bridles in one pile before or since. The house was literally full of 
them. Here our battery was made horse artillery, cannoneers being 
mounted on horse-back and having horse holders. 

We had planned to have a big time in Rome. The young people 
had arranged for several entertainments for our especial benefit, but 
alas, the best laid plans of men and mice, etc. 

An Alabama Heroine. 53 

General Forrest had been ordered to go at once to Tennessee and 
take Van Dorn's place. We remained in Rome about thirty-six 
hours, when I was ordered with the light section to accompany Col- 
onel Biffle with his regiment of cavalry to Tennessee. We left and 
made forced marches day and night, recrossed the mountains, and 
crossed the Tennessee river at Decatur and went down on the north- 
east side of the river. At Savannah I stopped and camped in the 
Fair Grounds with my section, and Colonel Biffle went on to the 
village and became engaged with a command of the Yankees on the 
opposite side of the river. After considerable firing, and he being 
unable to dislodge the enemy who were posted in a long row of cribs, 
stables and other log houses, he sent for the battery. We went 
down and sent a few shells crashing through the houses, and the 
enemy vacated the same and made tracks for the woods beyond the 
low grounds. I followed them with my shells until they reached the 
timber, when I ceased firing. A charge, however, was left in one of 
the pieces when the order to cease firing was given; pretty soon a 
man on horseback came out from the timber and waving his hat at 
us galloped down along the skirt of woods across in front of us in a 
very defiant manner. I caught hold of the trail handspike of the 
loaded gun and followed him. Then moved to where I supposed 
he would be by the time my shell would reach the point, and gave 
the order "fire." The man pulled the lanyard, and the shell, which 
had been cut to four seconds, was seen to explode in a direct line for 
him, and about thirty or forty yards short. I never saw him again. 
The dust and the smoke seemed to envelop him. The aim had been 
perfect, and a shout went up from our lines at this shot on the wing. 
After the Yankees had been run off, the cavalrymen procured a bat- 
teau from the opposite side of the river and went over and got all 
their horses and equipments and provisions, among which was a nice 
lot of hams, of which Colonel Biffle sent me a liberal share. 

After leaving Savannah (where poor ' ' Coon ' ' Herndon of Fer- 
rell' s battery had been mortally wounded on a former occasion) we went 
down the river on a "still hunt" for gunboats. We did not find 
any boats, but we did come across a nice party of Yankees on the 
opposite side of the river engaged in eating, bathing and playing 
cards. We came up behind a high lot fence, and peeping one of 
my little howitzers around the corner of the fence I opened on them 
with shell which exploded in their midst, they were taken completely 
by surprise and stampeded immediately leaving their grub, cards 
and clothing behind. As no boat of any sort could be found we had 

54 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

to leave without crossing. From here we went on to Columbia 
where we again met General Forrest. From Columbia we moved 
to a beautiful poplar grove near Franklin, and here the command 
was reorganized and we had a rest. 

R. Y. Jones. 

The Surrender of Colonel Streight. 

General Dabney Herndon Maury, who is the oldest surviving 
Major-General of the Confederate States Army, in his entertaining 
"Recollections of a Virginian" (pp. 208-9), gives the following 
account of the surrender of Colonel Streight, which exhibits strik- 
ingly the confidence and subtle ability of Forrest: 

"When Forrest, with about twelve hundred men, set out in pur- 
suit he was more than a day behind him. 

' ' Streight had several hnndred more men in the saddle than For- 
rest, and, being far in advance, could replace a broken-down horse 
by a fresh one from the farms through which his route lay, while 
Forrest, when he lust a horse, lost a soldier too; for no good horses 
were left for him. 

"After a hot pursuit of five days and nights, during which he had 
lost two-thirds of his forces from broken-down horses, he overhauled 
his enemy and brought him to a parley. This conference took place 
in sight of a cut-off in the mountain road, Captain Morton and his 
horse-artillery, which had been so long with Forrest, passing in sight 
along the road till they came to the cut-off, into which they would 
turn, re-entering the road out of view, so that it seemed that a con- 
tinous stream of artillery was passing by. Forrest had so arranged 
that he stood with his back to the guns, while Streight was facing 
them. Forrest, in his characteristic way, described the scene to me. 
He said: " I seen him all the time we was talking, looking over my 
shoulder and counting the guns. Presently he said, ' Name of God! 
How many guns have you got? There's fifteen I have counted 
already!' Turning my head that way, I said, 'I reckon that's all 
that has kept up.' Then he said, ' I wont surrender till you tell me 
how many men you've got.' I said, ' I've got enough to whip you 
out of your boots.' To which he said, ' I wont surrender.' I turned 
to my bugler and said, ' Sound to mount! ' Then he cried out, ' I'll 
surrender! ' I told him, ' Stack your arms right along there, Colonel, 
and march your men away down into that hollow.' " 

James Louis Petigru. 55 

" ' When this was done,' continued Forrest, ' I ordered my men to 
come forward and take possession of the arms.' 

"When Streight saw they were barely four hundred, he did rare! 
demanded to have his arms back and that we should fight it out. I 
just laughed at him and patted him on the shoulder, and said, 'Ah 
Colonel, all is fair in love and war, you known.' V 


The Life and Character of. 

The lives of successful and distinguished lawyers are always inter- 
esting. Success at the bar in a high degree, involves and implies 
mental activity and diligent research. There must be preliminary 
preparation both of an academic and a professional nature. As- 
suming a fair degree of the first we may enlarge a little on the second. 
The great exponent and apostle of the law, Sir William Blackstone, 
has to be studied. The principles which he discusses and elaborates 
have to be read, digested, and stored away in the mind. The stu- 
dent has to familiarize himself with Story and Adam's Equity, 
Smith's Mercantile Law, or some other work of like nature, has to 
be mastered. The statute law of the State has to be learned, works 
of pleading and practice must be perused and made part of the 
mental equipment. This preparation and these books necessitate 
the exercise of the intellectual faculties — their expansion and devel- 
opment. Practice of the profession calls for more. Cases have to 
be studied. Principles of the law as they have been expounded and 
adjudicated in the courts, have to be learned. Nice discriminations 
of thought have to be traced through their various ramifications and 
followed out to their logical conclusions and their application to facts. 
And then there must be a wide range of general knowledge, a famil- 
iarity with practical business, and a deep insight into human nature. 
One must know how to unravel sophistries, to detect truth from 
falsehood, and to read character from the lineaments of the face. A 
mind developed amid such environments as these, must itself be an 
object of interest. How interesting therefore, must a lawyer be who 
has a training such as that set forth above, and who has clothed and 
armed himself with a vast array of facts, illustrations, and incidents! 

56 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

You can hardly touch upon a phase of any subject but what he has 
a case at hand to illustrate the idea, or an example embodying the 
principle involved. At one time he is going down to the fountain 
sources of the law and there imbibing its first principles and cardinal 
doctrines. At another, he is standing before a jury of his country- 
men and with flowers of poesy and beauties of rhetoric in language 
terse and bold, he is battling for the right and vindicating injured in- 
nocence. At another you would suppose him a medical expert as he 
discusses some disease and elaborates upon its cause, its nature, and 
the remedies therefor. At still another, you find him engaged upon 
some principle of finance, and its application to practical business. 
The life of Mr. Petigru comes up to these demands, fulfills all these 
requirements, and has woven around it an interest far above the aver- 
age. He was admitted to be the foremost lawyer of South Carolina 
by his profession and the public generally. If I were to say that he 
was the foremost lawyer of the South, I do not believe the statement 
would be challenged. As a practitioner in Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, as Solicitor of his circuit, and as Attorney General of his State, 
he fairly earned and richly deserved the designation, a great lawyer. 
Mr. Petigru was born in a fortunate period in his country's history. 
He first saw the light in May, 1789. At that time, the foremost 
minds of America were studying constitutional questions, and the 
underlying principles of government. No wonder that this bright 
young Carolina lawyer should have become interested in affairs of 
State, formed a definite line of politics and settled for himself the 
question whether he would assume the role of demagogue or plant 
himself upon the high plane of statesmanship. He was fortunate 
too in the place of his birth. Abbeville county, South Carolina, was 
the home of his nativity and the place of his childhood. It was and 
is a county prolific of great men. She can rightly claim as her child- 
ren, either by birth or adoption, John C. Calhoun, George .McDuf- 
fie, Judge Cheves, Dr. Geddings, Judge James Calhoun, George 
and Aleck Bowie, Dr. John T. Pressly, the two Wardlaws, and 
many others whom I might mention. Genius thrives best when it 
finds kindred spirits around it. If I wanted an illustration of this 
fact, I would cite Boston with its long list of eminent men. Mr. 
Petigru received his primary and academic education in his native 
county, at the school of the celebrated teacher, Rev. Dr. Moses 
Waddell. He was as fortunate in having such a teacher as Dr. 
Waddell to start him off as he was in being born of Scotch- Irish 
parentage mingled with the French. 

James Louis Petigru. 57 

He completed his education at the South Carolina College, gradu- 
ating therefrom in 1809 with the highest honor of his class. We 
frequently hear people speak disparagingly of first honor men. I 
am sure the facts do not warrant any such characterization. If you 
will study the history of the alumni of any institution, you will be 
surprised to learn how many of the more distinguished graduates 
were first honor men. If, however, to win the first honor is a mis- 
fortune and a burden to carry in after life, Mr. Petigru had no harder 
fate than many others, among whom I may name Judge David L. 
Wardlaw, Dr. J. H. Thornwell and Hugh S. Legare, each of whom 
merits the designation, claritm et venei'abile nome?i. Mr. Pettigru 
was well versed in literature. He was familiar with the poets and 
with all the great masters of literature. When a boy he was fond 
of reading Pope and Dryden, and as the years glided swiftly by he 
found his interest in them continuing as strong as ever. There have 
been a great many lawyers in Carolina who have affected literature 
and at the same time excelled in their chosen profession, notably: 
the silver tongued orator, William C. Preston, and the accomplished 
man of letters, Hugh S. Legare. The latter was fortunate enough 
to enjoy almost every advantage afforded by education and travel, 
and he did not fail to embrace and improve his opportunities. It 
was a mooted question in that day, and it has never been settled yet, 
whether it is best, or even good, for a lawyer to be known as dab- 
bling much in literature. Mr. Legare was afraid that it hurt himself. 
Judge Story has presented some strong arguments on the other side. 
He maintains that literature benefits and improves the very means 
which a lawyer uses to attain success. It sharpens the wit. It 
enlarges and improves the diction. It broadens the mind and widens 
the scope of vision. It cultivates and develops the powers of analysis 
and discrimination. Stimulates the imagination and strengthens the 
memory. On the other hand, it is argued that literature unfits one 
for practical life. It tends to make one shun the aggressive, bust- 
ling world, and to long for quiet and repose. The drift of opinion 
and the force of example in this country, perhaps, tend to sustain 
this better view, while in England the opposite is the case. Again, 
Mr. Petigru excelled as a conversationalist. He was noted for his 
wit and repartee, and many of his bright sayings have been handed 
down to us and pass current yet, no doubt considerably exagge- 
rated. His home in Charleston and the up-country was the favorite 
resort of those who wanted to be entertained with ideas, experiences 
and incidents that were fresh, sparkling and vivacious. He was very 

58 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

hospitable, and practica'ly kept open house. As a host, he was 
generous, liberal and free. We can't help but admire such a char- 
acter. No one likes a man who is close, mean and stingy. No one 
likes the company of a man who is sullen, morose and taciturn. We 
are delighted to meet a warm-hearted, whole-souled, hale-fellow-well- 
met style of man like Mr. Petigru. 

In his home life Mr. Petigru was in every way a model. He was 
devoted to his mother, wife and other members of his household, 
and in return received their warmest love and affection. His wife 
was for many years an invalid, and it is touching to see how delicate 
and tender he was in his attention to her. Oftentimes he himself 
would go to the market to procure something suited to her taste. 

W T e have reserved for the last the great, over-shadowing feature of 
Mr. Petigru' s character, namely, his politics and stand on public 
questions. Here he stands out conspicuously in his devotion to 
principle and duty. He was no time-server. He did not trim his 
sails to catch the popular breeze. He had the courage of his con- 
victions. He believed in doing right, let the consequences be what 
they may. He was no demagogue. He would not condescend to 
lower his standard to gain office. He would not pander to the pub- 
lic taste, and he was far above appealing to the prejudices and lower 
elements of our nature. He was all his life on the minority side of 
politics. He was a Union man and was opposed to nulification and 
secession. In Carolina at that time his was an exceedingly unpopu- 
lar stand to take. Indeed South Carolina was the leader in both 
these movements. Our people had but little sympathy for those 
who entertained opposite ideas on these subjects. And yet there 
were a few men in the State who, especially in the secession move- 
ment, dared to run counter to the prevailing sentiment, cost what it 
might. Among them I may name Gov. B. F. Perry, Judge J. B. 
O'Neal, Gov. James L. Orr and Mr. Petigru. These constituted in 
several respects a remarkable group of men. In the first place they 
were beginning to reach the shady side of life, with the exception of 
Mr. Orr, who was then in his prime. In the second place they were 
calm, cool-headed men, and conservative in their ideas and views. 
In the third place they were men of high character, wide experi- 
ence and more than average ability. They loved South Carolina. 
She was their native State and was as dear to them as the apple of 
the eye. Around and about her were centered their affections and 
interests. They well knew that their own fate was united and inter- 
woven with the destiny of their beloved commonwealth. They knew 

James Louis Petigru. 59 

too that it was suicidal to attempt to stem the public current. To 
face the issue to brave public opinion would cost them much in polit- 
ical and possibly in social life. But they loved the Union and loved 
it with the supremest affection. From early childhood they had 
learned to sing its praises, to study the lives and emulate the ex- 
ample of its long line of illustrious men, and no less distinguished 
women. To point with pride to its star spangled banner, its battle- 
fields and long list of heroes and heroines, and with an enthusiastic 
ardor which knew no bounds to proclaim its greatness and boast of 
its grand and glorious past. And yet they were devoted to their 
State. To them secession was not simply a bitter pill, it was a 
grievous mistake and a national calamity. Grave, earnest, serious, 
sad men were these. They turned their faces skyward and read in 
the stars gloomy auguries. They came before the people and fore- 
told war, ruin and desolation, and only too true did their prophecies 
prove. And they asked the people over and over again the ques- 
tion, why secede ? What cause for separation exists ? Having done 
the best they could to stem the tide, but in vain, they quietly and 
sadly determined to share the fate of their people whatever that fate 
might be. 

To the credit of Carolinians be it said they honored and respected 
these noble old men to the last. It was no new thing for Mr. Peti- 
gru, however, to find himself upon the unpopular side of politics. 
That was usually his fate. But under all circumstances throughout 
his life, though generally on the minority, he boldly avowed his views 
and had at least the consciousness of knowing that he had his own 

And as I have already said, he commanded the respect of his peo- 
ple to the last. He was appointed to codify the laws of the State. 
He was made President of the South Carolina Historical Society, and 
at the time of his death he was also an honorary member of the 
Massachusetts' Historical Society. 

But Mr. Petigru was not perfect. He too had his faults. He was 
fond of joking, and his jokes were sometimes too coarse and broad in 
their character. And then too, like George Washington, he would 
occasionally swear, both to his own hurt and that of his reputation. 
These were blemishes upon his character. A great man cannot be 
too careful in his conduct. Others will observe him closely and 
oftentimes follow in his footsteps. 

And now that we have reached a conclusion, how shall we sum up 
his life ? Judge Samuel McCowan, formerly a member of the Su- 

60 Souther?!. .Historical Society Papers. 

preme Court of South Carolina, who knew Mr. Petigru well, in 
speaking of him to the writer, said that he was a great man, that he 
was honest and charitable, and that he was loyal to his friends. 
Hon. Daniel Pope, a professor of law in the University of South 
Carolina, in an address upon his life, ascribes to him genius, wit,, 
magnetic oratory, and quaint originality. 

Judge John Belton O'Neall, showed the high estimate he put upon 
Mr. Petigru by dedicating to him his own great work, O* NeaW s Bench 
and Bar of South Carolina. I will close by saying that Mr. Petigru 
was a fine lawyer, a great statesman, that he was loyal to his con- 
victions of duty, his friends and his country, and that he was a brave r 
honest, generous, noble-souled man. 

Walter L. Miller, 

Abbeville, S. C. 

[The Times, Richmond, Va.,June6, 1897.] 



General Lee Suffered for Want of Proper Information— Just Enough 
to Mislead Brought on the Battle— The Reports. 

I think it is now generally conceded that if the Gettysburg cam- 
paign had been successful it would have secured the independance of 
the Confederacy. The failure to accomplish this, or any result favor- 
able to the Confederacy, has centred upon it the most minute scru- 
tiny, and yel I have not seen written anywhere what appears to me 
to be some of the clear deductions from the records. I propose to 
outline some of these deductions. 

General Lee having transferred his army from in front of Freder- 
icksburg to the Lower Valley, without a single mishap, and having 
captured there all the artillery, and either captured or dispersed all 
the Union troops occupying it, during which time General Hooker 
had conformed the movements of the Army of the Potomac to his, 
without attempting to disconcert his plans, and that army was then in 
the counties of Loudoun and Fairfax (between him and the Capi- 

Causes of Gettysburg Failure. 61 

tol), on the 220! day of June, 1863, ordered Lieutenant-General 
Ewell to move his corps to the line of the Susquehannah — one divis- 
ion to cross over the mountain and pass through Gettysburg to York, 
Pa., with a view of indicating a movement upon Baltimore, as he 
writes in his first report (p. 307): " In order to retain it (the Union 
Army), on the east side of the mountains, after it should enter 
Maryland, and thus leave open our communications with the Poto- 
mac through Hagerstown and Williamsport, General Ewell had been 
instructed to send a division eastward from Chambersburg to cross 
the South Mountain. Early's division was detached for this service 
and proceeded as far east as York." Ewell, with the other two di- 
visions was directed to proceed north, up the Valley, through Cham- 
bersburg to Harrisonburg, which place, General Ewell says in his 
report, he was ordered to capture. 


Longstreet and Hill crossed the Potomac on the 26th, and reached 
Chambersburg on the evening of the 27th. The same day Ewell 
with his two divisions reached Carlisle, and Early with the other, the 
neighborhood of York. The infantry was now admirably arranged 
for an advance upon Harrisburg, and from there, upon Philadelphia 
and New York, with nothing in that direction to oppose it but hastily 
gathered militia. The army had, found, in the country occupied, 
abundant supplies of subsistance and forage, as well as horses and 
other quartermaster supplies. 

Unfortunately, General Lee had, before leaving Virginia given his 
consent that Stuart, with three brigades of his cavalry, should pass 
around in rear of Hooker's army and cross the Potomac between it 
and Washington, whilst the other two brigades were left to guard 
the mountain passes in Virginia, and observe the movements of 
Hooker's army, with orders to make reports directly to General 
Lee or Longstreet. Nothing was heard from either division until 
Stuart reported at Gettysburg in the afternoon of July 2nd, and 
Robertson on the 3rd. The consequences of that error were soon 
apparent, for to it was due the fact that General Lee assumed the 
aggressive against Meade's army and attacked it in position as will 

On the 28th, General Lee, thinking from not hearing from the 
cavalry that Hooker had not left Virginia — writes (p. 307): " Prep- 
arations were now made to advance upon Harrisburg; but on the 
night of the 28th, information was received from a scout that the 

62 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Federal army, having crossed the Potomac, was advancing north- 
ward, and that the head of the column had reached the South 
Mountain. As our communications with the Potomac were menaced, 
it was resolved to prevent his further progress in that direction by 
cencentrating our army on the east side of the mountains. Accord- 
ingly, Longstreet and Hill were directed to proceed from Chambers- 
burg to Gettysburg, to which point General Ewell was also instructed 
to march from Carlisle." 


Again, in his later and more carefully considered report, after the 
reports from all the different parts of the army had been received by 
him, he writes (p. 316): "The advance upon Harrisburg was 
arrested by intelligence received from a scout on the night of the 
28th, to the effect, that the army of General Hooker had crossed 
the Potomac, and was approaching the South Mountain. In the 
absence of the cavalry it was impossible to ascertain his intentions; 
but to deter him from advancing further west and intercepting our 
communications with Virginia, it was determined to concentrate the 
army east of the mountains." 

Acting under the impression produced by the scout's information, 
that the Union army was moving westward towards Hagerstown, on v 
the line of his communications with Virginia, it must have been a 
great surprise to him, when his leading divisions approached Gettys- 
burg, to find Meade's advance was there ahead of him. 

It had evidently been General Lee's plan to operate west of the 
South Mountain range, and keep General Meade east of it, as the 
sending Early east of it to threaten Baltimore clearly indicates. In 
case the Union army crossed over in spite of his manoeuvres to pre- 
vent it, he relied upon the fact that the concentration of his army at 
Gettysburg would place him nearer to Baltimore than it, and unless 
his move was quickly responded to by it, he could interpose his 
army between Baltimore and Washington on the one side and the 
Union army on the other. He was in error in supposing that con- 
tingency had arisen, though it appears from the fact on the morning 
of the 28th, three of the seven corps of the Union army were in the 
Catoctin Valley, near Middleton, and one other at Knoxville, with 
the passes in the South Mountain heavily guarded, that it was 
Hooker's purpose to have crossed over as General Lee supposod he 
was doing. 

Causes of Gettysburg Feature. 63 


But, on the 28th, General Hooker was displaced and General 
Meade placed in command of the army. He immediately drew 
back the corps from Middleton to Frederickstown, so that they 
might be prepared to join in the general advance of the whole army 
towards the Susquehannah on the east side of the mountain range, 
which advance was to be put in motion early on the morning of the 
29th. Of this change of arrangement, General Lee had no inti- 
mation until the two armies came into collision near Gettysburg. 
Had he known that General Meade had withdrawn the corps from 
Middleton on the 28th, as he should have known if his cavalry had 
been watching those gaps, and was advancing as rapidly as possible 
east of the mountains as it advanced, are that he would not have or- 
dered the concentration of his army east of the mountain, for he so 
distinctly states: "To deter him from advancing further west and 
intercepting our communications with Virginia, it was determined to 
concentrate the army east of the mountains." 

If the Army of the Potomac had crossed over the South Mountain 
at the passes in Maryland, as General Lee supposed it was doing, 
and approached him from that direction, occupying his line of com- 
munication and taking possession of the gaps in the mountain as it 
advanced, a prompt concentration of his whole army east of the 
mountains, alone could prevent Meade from soon occupying the 
gaps between him and Gettysburg, and thus forcing him to turn back 
and make the attack with all the strong strategic and tactical posi- 
tions occupied by his adversary. Thus, it was not what Meade did, 
but what General Lee thought he was doing that caused him to fall 
back from before Harrisburg. Just enough information to mislead, 
brought on the battle of Gettysburg. When the army crossed the 
Potomac, it was expected of the cavalry to furnish reliable informa- 
mation of the movements of the Army of the Potomac. I can find 
nothing in the records that throws any light upon what it was that 
detained the two brigades under Robertson in Virginia until July 1st, 
when they crossed the river at Williamsport. The Army of the Po- 
tomac had been withdrawn from Loudoun — the last of the cavalry 
crossing the river on the 27th, and the positions taken up that night. 
General Jones, commanding one of the brigades, takes up his report 
on the 29th, with his command at Snickersville, Loudoun county. 
There were no reports from the other brigade, and it appears there 

64 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

were no reports from either of them to General Lee at the time of 
the movements of the enemy. 


What General Lee would have done, had he known the facts fully 
instead of being compelled to act upon the imperfect information of 
the scout, is a question open to speculation, for General Lee never 
disclosed what were his plans in contingencies that never arose. But 
had he known that Meade's army was moving — the left wing, com- 
posed of three corps — through Emmetsburg to Gettysburg, and the 
other four moving on lines east of that route and kept within easy 
supporting distance, the 12th and 2d Corps directed upon Gettys- 
burg, the 5th upon Hanover, and the 6th to Manchester, to be a gen- 
eral reserve to the whole, it is almost positively certain that he would 
not have crossed his army over the mountain. 

The Union correspondence may throw some light to guide the 
speculations of those inclined to construct a theory based upon 

General Couch, commanding in that department, with headquar- 
ters at Harrisburg, wrote to the Secretary of War June 29th (page 
407): " I hold from Altoona along the Juniata and Susquehannah to 
Conowingo bridge above Havre-de-Grace (a distance of more than 
200 miles). My whole force organized is, perhaps, 16,000 men. 
5,000 regulars can whip them all to pieces in an open field. I am 
afraid they will ford the river in its present state." Again, on the 
same day, to General Meade: "I have only 15,000 men, such as 
they are, on my whole line — say 9,000 here." 

Lieutenant Thomas, Adjutant-General, wrote to Secretary E. M. 
Staunton from Harrisburg July 1st (page 478): " This is a difficult 
place to defend, as the river is fordable both above and below," and 
proceeds to comment upon the ' ' want of artillery and especially 
of practiced artillerists," and the deficiency of cavalry, and con- 
cludes: " The excitement here is not so great as I found it in Phila- 
delphia, and the people begin to understand that the fate of this city 
depends entirely upon the results of the operations of the Army of 
the Potomac." 


Simon Cameron to Mr. Lincoln from Harrisburg June 29th (409): 
" Let me impress upon you the absolute necessity of action by 
Meade to-morrow, even if attended with great risk, because if Lee 

Causes of Gettysburg Failure. 65 

gets his army across the Susquehannah and puts our army on the 
defensive on that line, you will readily comprehend the disastrous 
results that must follow to the country." 

Secretary E. M. Stanton to General Dana in command at Phila- 
delphia, dated War Department, June 29th (408): "It is very im- 
portant that machinery for manufacturing arms should not fall into 
the hands of the enemy, and that it should be preserved for the use 
of the government. In case of imminent danger to the works of 
Alfred Jenks & Son, of Philadelphia, who is manufacturing arms 
for the government, you are authorized and directed to impress 
steam tugs, barges or any description of vessels to remove the gun- 
manufacturing machines beyond the reach of the enemy." 

These extracts indicate what the highest officials of the United 
States Government thought were some of the possibilities before 
General Lee, and also that Harrisburg would not have attempted to 
resist an attack by Ewell. It is presumed that General Lee knew 
something of these conditions, for he had always heretofore kept 
himself well-informed in regard to the conditions he had to en- 
counter. He must have known something of the quality of the 
militia, for Early's cavalry had come upon a full regiment of this 
militia at Gettysburg, which had dispersed so quickly that Jenk- 
ins could not get in sight of it. York had been abandoned by 
the military, and the municipal officers met Early several miles 
from the city to treat for its surrender. Again, at Wrightsville, 
1,200 militia had retreated across the bridge and set fire to it, before 
Gordon could get his brigade in position to attack. General Early 
writes (p. 467): " I regretted very much the failure to secure the 
bridge, as, finding the defenseless condition of the country generally, 
and the little obstacle likely to be afforded by the militia to our pro- 
gress, I had determined, if I could get possession of the Columbia 
bridge, to cross my division over the Susquehannah." 

ewell's possibilities. 

General Ewell reached Carlisle on the 27th, and writes (p. 443): 
"From Carlisle I sent forward my engineer, Captain H. B. Rich- 
ardson, with Jenkins' cavalry, to reconnoitre the defences of Harris- 
burg and was starting on the 29th for that place, when ordered by 
the General commanding to join the main body of the army at 
Cashtown, near Gettysburg. General Rodes writes (p. 552): "On 
the arrival at Carlisle, Jenkins' cavalry advanced towards Harrisburg 


Southern Historical Society Papers. 

and had, on the 29th, made a thorough reconnoisance of the de- 
fenses of the place, with the view of our advance upon it, a step 
which every man in the division contemplated with eagerness, and 
which was to have been executed on the 30th." Ewell, therefore, 
must have known that the river was fordable above and below the 
city, and something of the number and quality of the troops de- 
fending it. 

With these lights to guide us, it seems probable that General Lee, 
with his communications safe, would not have called off Ewell from 
before Harrisburg, but rather pressed him forward to its capture, and 
after the capture, it may be to turn back to the assistance of Hill, 
possibly to cross over the river and meet Meade on the line of the 
Susquehannah, a condition that appeared so alarming to Senator 
Cameron, or even to hasten to the capture of Philadelphia, trusting 
to his ability, with the two corps of Longstreet and Hill, to hold 
Meade's army in check in the mountain passes — an expectation that 
does not appear so unreasonable, since he, with but little more than 
two-thirds of his present army, at Chancellorsville, had defeated the 
Army of the Potomac, stronger in numbers and morale than at this 
time. General Meade could not possibly have moved upon the gap 
in rear of Cashtown before July 1st, and he states that he proposed 
to make that a day of rest and to bring up his supply there. On 
the 29th, Hill was at Fayetteville, on the road from Chambersburg 
to Cashtown, and in his report, writes (p. 606): " I was directed to 
move on this road in the direction of York, and to cross the Susque- 
hannah, menacing the communications of Harrisburg with Philadel- 
phia, and to co-operate with General Ewell, acting as circumstances 
might require. Accordingly, on the 29th, I moved Heth's division 
to Cashtown, some eight miles from Gettysburg, following on the 
morning of the 30th with the division of Pender." This order, un- 
der which Hill was acting, was evidently the one for the general 
advance upon Harrisburg and the line of the Susquehannah, issued 
on the 28th, under the impression that the army of the Potomac was 
still in Virginia. 


It so happened that Hill was just where he should have been to 
observe the movements of Meade's army and to guard the passes 
through the mountains. Longstreet at Chambersburg, midway 
between the two wings, was in easy supporting distance of either of 
them. Stuart, with his three brigades of cavalry, would have re- 

Causes of Gettysburg Failure. 67 

joined the army on July ist, for on the morning of that day he 
reached Dover and in the afternoon Carlisle. It must have been, 
however, with great reluctance that General Lee would adopt a line 
of action predicated upon Stuart, for it might be for aught he knew 
that he had met with a disaster, or been driven back into Virginia. 

Because General Lee preferred to operate with his army in Penn- 
sylvania until compelled to accept defensive battle with the Army of 
the Potomac, it by no means follows that an aggressive battle, in 
which he attacked the enemy as they were assembling, must be 
unsuccessful, or even that the conditions were necessarily favorable 
to the enemy. The results of the first and second days' fighting 
establish this fact; for, though lacking the important qualities of 
rapidity of movements and promptness of action, they were so favor- 
able to General Lee as to warrant the belief that the third day would 
result in the total defeat of the enemy. By the light of facts now 
known from the records, reasonable promptness of action and better 
co-ordination between the two wings of the army would have secured 
a complete victory on the second day. The responsibility for the 
(as it proved to be) fatal delays has led to much crimination and 
recrimination. The third day's fighting on the right was a miserable 
failure, because it was so conducted that, in fact, it was divided into 
two separate and distinct battles, the first fought by artillery without 
any infantry, and the second by infantry without any artillery. And 
yet, in spite of the unnecessary delays and want of co-operation on 
the second day, and the gross mismanagement of the fighting on the 
third day, the killed, wounded and missing on the Confederate side 
were not as great as that on the Union side, and the disparity between 
the numbers in the two armies at the beginning had been almost 
obliterated by the fighting, for General Meade reported July 4th that 
the strength of his army (infantry and artillery), equipped, was only 
55,000, and General Lee's numbers could not have been much less. 

Robert M. Stribling. 
Markham, Va., June 4, 189J \ 

68 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Richmond (Va.) Dispatch, July 27, 1897.] 


Judge Reagan on the Hampton Roads Conference. 


No Offer Made to Pay for the Slaves— The Testimony of President 
Davis, Vice=President Stephens and Others. 

Austin, Texas, July 20, i8gy. 
To the Editor of the Dispatch : 

In the address delivered by me at the annual reunion of Con- 
federate veterans at Nashville, Tenn., on the 22d of June, discussing 
the question as to why the war was not brought to an end sooner than 
it was by a compromise, it became necessary for me to refer to a 
story often told, that President Lincoln, at the Hampton Roads 
Conference, February 3, 1865, offered to pay $400,000,000 for the 
slaves of the South to secure peace and a restoration of the Union. 
This statement has been often made for the purpose of showing that 
the Southern people might have been paid that sum for their slaves, 
and that the war might have been terminated and its sacrifices 
avoided, if President Davis and the Confederate authorities had 
accepted this offer from President Lincoln. I felt that it was due to 
the Confederate authorities, due to truth, and necessary as a historic 
fact, that I should declare, on that great occasion, "that no such 
offer in any form was made." 

The Nashville American newspaper, of the 26th of June, 1897, 
published a communication from Mr. R. H. Baker, of Watertown, 
Tenn., under the head lines, "Judge Reagan in Error," in which 
he took issue with me on that question, thereby necessarily assuming 
that President Lincoln had made such an offer. 

The day on which Mr. Baker 1 s article was published I sent a note 
to the American, stating that on my return home I would send to 
that paper a statement of the authorities on which I made the denial 
that any such offer had been made. 

Pursuant to that promise, on the 7th day of July, 1897, I sent mv 
letter of that date to the American, giving some of the authorities 
on which I based my denial that President Lincoln had offered 

The Hampton Roads Conference. 69 

$400,000,000 to pay for the loss of the slaves. I quoted what was 
said by the five members of the Hampton Roads Conference, the 
only persons who were present and knew what was said in that Con- 
ference; and by them showed that no such offer was made, and that 
no terms were offered the Confederates but unconditional submission 
to Federal authority. I will not go over that presentation of facts 
again, but will add to it two more statements — one by President 
Davis and one by President Lincoln. 


In submitting to the Confederate Congress the report of our com- 
missioners to the Hampton Roads conference, President Davis said: 

" I herewith transmit, for the information of Congress, the report 
of the eminent citizens above named (Stephens, Hunter, and Camp- 
bell), showing that the enemy refused to enter into negotiations with 
the Confederate States, or any one of them separately, or to give to 
our people any other terms or guarantees than those which the con- 
querer may grant, or to permit us to have peace on any other basis 
than our unconditional submission to their rule, coupled with the 
acceptance of their recent legislation on the subject of the relations 
between the white and black populations of each State. Such is, as 
I understand it, the effect of the amendment to the Constitution, 
which has been adopted by the Congress of the United States." 

In response to a resolution adopted by the Congress of the United 
States, on the 8th of February, 1865, requesting information from 
President Lincoln in relation to what occurred in the conference held 
at Hampton Roads, Mr. Lincoln said: 

' ' On my part, the whole substance af the instructions to the Sec- 
retary of State, hereinbefore recited, was stated and insisted upon, 
and nothing was said inconsistent therewith." 

In the above, reference is made to the instructions given by Presi- 
dent Lincoln, to Secretary of State Seward, on the 31st of January, 
T865, as to what he was authorized to do in the conference with the 
Confederate commissioners. Mr. Lincoln said: 

' ' You will make known to them that three things are indispensible 
— to-wit: First, the restoration of the national authority throughout 
all the States; second, no receding by the Executive of the United 
States on the slavery question, from the position assumed thereon in 
the late annual message to Congress, and the preceding documents; 

70 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

third, no cessation of hostilities short of an end of the war, and the 
disbanding of all the forces hostile to the government." 

The reference in the second of the above propositions, was to Mr. 
Lincoln's annual message to Congress, of December, 1864, and his 
reference to documents, is to his emancipation proclamations of Sep- 
tember 22, 1862, and of January 1,1863. 

It was the policy indicated in these proclamations and in this mes- 
sage, which he informed the Confederate commissioners he would not 
recede from. 


And are not these two authorities conclusive proof, independently 
of all the other proofs presented in my letter of July 7th, that no 
proposition was made by Mr. Lincoln to the Confederate commis- 
sioners to pay $400,000,000 for the slaves to secure peace and union ? 

Now I will add that of all the persons who met in that conference, 
no one of them has ever said that such an offer was made; but all of 
them show a state of facts absolutely inconsistent with the making of 
such an offer. Henceforward, any one who may assume that such 
an offer was made, must do so in the face of, and in defiance of, all 
the facts connected with that conference. The only interest I feel in 
this matter is to see to it that the historic facts connected with that 
conference shall not be perverted and misrepresented, so as to throw 
on President Davis and the Confederate authorities the responsibility 
of having rejected such a proposition. 

The Hon. Henry Watterson, editor of the Courier- Journal , gave 
to the public in that paper, on the 12th of July, under the display 
heading, "The Truth of History," over four columns' criticism and 
reply to my letter of the 7th of July. 

I cannot descend from the consideration of an important historical 
question to a reply to what he says about my "vehemence" and 
"volubility" and a number of other merely ill-natured and ungra- 
cious personal flings at me. I am only concerned in the settlement 
of the historical question. 

Replying to my denial that President Lincoln, at the Hampton 
Roads conference, offered to the Confederate commissioners $400,- 
000,000 to pay for the slaves, to secure peace and the return of the 
Southern States to the Union, Mr. Watterson says: 

" Since no one that we have ever heard of has intimated that Mr. 
Lincoln did, it is difficult to understand just why Judge Reagan 
should be so inconsistent." 

The Hampton Roads Conference. 71 

Let us see as to this. My letter of July 7th was a reply to Mr. R. 
H. Baker, who questioned the truthfulness of my denial that such 
an offer was made. It is also true that a considerable portion of the 
people of the Southern States have been induced to believe that such 
an offer was made, and was rejected by President Davis and the 
Confederate authorities. And since the delivery of my address at 
Nashville, and the publication of my letter of the 7th instant, I have re- 
ceived many letters from persons in a number of States, thanking me 
for having shown that no such an offer was made. And in a lecture 
delivered by Mr. Watterson, in Kansas City, some two or three 
years ago, he said, under the heading "New Birth of Freedom," 

" In the preceding conversation Mr. Lincoln had intimated that 
payment for the slaves was not outside of a possible agreement for re- 
union and peace. He based that statement upon a proposal he 
already had in hand to appropriate $400,000,000 for this purpose. I 
am not going to tell any tales out of school. I am not here for con- 
troversy, but when we are dead and gone the private memorabilia of 
those who know what terms were really offered the Confederacy, 
within ninety days of its total collapse, will show that in the indi- 
vidual judgment of all of them the wisdom of the situation said 
'Accept.' " 

Accept what? Why surely he means the $400,000,000. Had 
Mr. Watterson forgotten this ? Does not this language show that 
he meant to charge the Confederate authorities with having refused 
this offer, and that posterity would say the offer ought to have been 
accepted? I think it safe to say that Mr. Watterson, whether he 
meant to be so understood or not, is, through his newspaper and 
lectures, more responsible than any other living man for the belief 
by others of the truth of this fable about the offer of $400,000,000 
by Mr. Lincoln and its rejection by the Confederacy. 

How does the above queston agree with Mr. Watterson' s state- 
ment that he had never heard it intimated that Mr. Lincoln did make 
such an offer ? If Mr. Watterson agrees with me that no such offer 
was made, why did he write four or five columns of editorial to com- 
bat my statement on this question ? In that I said nothing about Mr. 
Watterson or his views. I was discussing an interesting historical 
question. Was he indulging in a mere display of dialectics to show 
how skilfully he could avoid a real issue, or did he mean by it to con- 
trovert what I had said ? 

Mr. Watterson states that the day after Mr. Lincoln's return from 

72 Southern Historical Society Papers, 

the Hampton Roads conference, he submitted to his Cabinet the 
form of a joint resolution empowering him to pay, on the terms pro- 
posed, $400,000,000 for the slaves, if the Confederate States would 
abandon the war. And he follows the quotation of that proposed 
joint resolution by the following statement: 

"Thus it will be seen that Mr. Lincoln did, at the Fortress Mon- 
roe conference, intimate that payment for the slaves might be con- 
sidered as a basis for reunion and peace, and Mr. Lincoln did 
embody the proposition in an official document, notwithstanding 
Judge Reagan's confident assertion that neither President Lincoln 
nor any other man on the Federal side would have dared to make 
such an offer at that time." 


I must call attention to two views in reference to the foregoing 
extraordinary statement. The first is that Mr. Watterson assumes 
that because Mr. Lincoln submitted the form of a joint resolution to 
his Cabinet, proposing to pay $400,000,000 for the slaves, that this 
is evidence that he did intimate, at the Hampton Roads conference, 
payment for the slaves. Is the one evidence of the truth of the 
other ? What connection is shown between these two facts ? Was 
this not a mere play on words intended to mislead ? The other is 
that the submission by Mr. Lincoln of the form of such a joint reso 
lution to his Cabinet was a refutation of my statement that no such 
offer was made at Hampton Roads. What sort of logic is this, com- 
ing from a great editor and an experienced writer ? Does Mr. Wat- 
terson expect his readers to believe that because Mr. Lincoln may 
have submitted such a form of joint resolution to his Cabinet that 
this is evidence of his having made such a proposition in the confer- 
ence at Hampton Roads ? 

Let us look at another piece of Mr. Watterson' s logic and facts. 
He says: " Now, let us see how much more accurate and authorita- 
tive Judge Reagan is, when he flatly contradicts the statement that 
Mr. Lincoln, in his private interview with Mr. Stephens at Fort Mon- 
roe, said to Mr Stephens, ' Let me write " Union " at the top of this 
page, and you may write whatever else you please. ' ' 

I have never found it necessary to dispute anything which has 
been said about private interviews between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. 
Stephens. My position was, and is, that no such statement was 
made to the Confederate Commissioners as an inducement to bring- 

The Hampton Roads Conference. 73 

ing about peace. I have only combated the statements that such 
offer was made, and such as the payment of $400,000,000 were ever 
made as any part of an offer to influence the action of the Confed- 
erate Government. 

Mr. Watterson quotes very lengthy statements made by Mr. 
Howells, of Atlanta, Ga. , and Mr. Felix G. De Fontaine, of Fifth 
avenue, New York, in relation to conversations purporting to have 
occurred between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens. It will be remem- 
bered that no one has said, and that there is not a particle of evi- 
dence to prove, that the private conversations said to have taken 
place between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens were known to the 
other commissioners, or in any way made known to President Davis. 

If these gentlemen correctly remember what Mr. Stephens said as 
to facts occurring thirty years before their papers were written, it 
does not prove that any such offers were made to the Confederate 
Commissioners as were talked of between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. 
Stephens, or that any such information was ever communicated to 
the Confederate Government. Mr. Howells may state correctly 
what Mr. Stephens said about there being a ' ' bitter opposition on 
the part of the friends of President Davis in the Confederate Con- 
gress, but finally it was authorized and commissioners selected to 
attend the conference." I can only say that I never heard of any 
such condition of feeling, and have never understood that the Presi- 
dent conferred with Congress about the appointment of their com- 


Allowing that all these statements are true, it does not controvert 
my statement that no such propositions were made in any form for 
acceptance or rejection, or that they were made to the Confederate 
commissioners, or communicated to the Confederate Government, or 
rejected by it. This is the only issue I have made, and Mr. Watter- 
son insists that no one ever said such an offer was made, and that in 
showing that no such offer was made he says I am ' ' fighting a man 
of straw. " So it would seem there is and can be no issue between 
us. He admits that none such was made, and I have never ques- 
tioned what was said in private interviews between Mr. Lincoln and 
Mr. Stephens, but call attention to the fact that all, as far as I know, of 
the gentlemen who keep up the statements about what occurred 
between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens, somehow manage to leave 
the impression that President Davis failed of his duty in not accept- 

74 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

ing terms which were never offered to him, and for not terminating 
the war when he had no power to terminate it on any other terms 
than unconditional surrender. And if he had by that means ended 
the war, I do not doubt but that the very class of men who have 
made war on him for not doing so would have been equally loud- 
mouthed in charging him with being both coward and traitor. 

It may be proper for me to present some testimony showing that 
Mr. Stephens said that no offer was made by Mr. Lincoln at the 
Hampton Roads conference of $400,000,000 to pay for the slaves. 

A letter was published in the Houston Post of the 16th instant, a 
leading daily of this State, by Mr. R. G. Latting, Jr., in which, 
referring to the discussion of this question, he says: 

" I have seen a statement from Mr. Stephens on this subject over 
his own signature. In the year 1869, while living in the State of 
Mississippi, some of my young men associates and myself, when dis- 
cussing this very subject, decided that we would get at the facts by 
writing to the Hon. Alexander H. Stephens in reference to it. The 
letter was written, asking him if Mr. Lincoln had at any time said 
that if the South would lay down her arms and return to the Union 
she would receive pay for her slaves. Mr. Stephens replied that, ' if 
Mr. Lincoln had ever made a proposition of that kind he had never 
heard of it.' " 

I also quote the following from a letter written by the Hon. Frank 
B. Sexton, in March, 1895, and published in the newspapers at that 
time, in which he says: 

( ' On the day after the return of the commissioners from the Fort 
Monroe conference, I was told by Senator James L. Orr, a close 
friend of, and certainly in the confidence of Mr. Stephens, that Mr. 
Stephens had told him the night before, and just after the return of 
the commissioners, that the conference was utterly fruitless; that Mr. 
Lincoln offered the Confederate States nothing but unconditional 
submission; that we now had nothing to do but resist to the last, or 
surrender at discretion. 

" On February 8, 1865 (I am able to give this date from an entry 
in my diary kept at the time), which was two days after the return 
of the commissioners, Mr. Stephens in conversation with Hon. Clifford 
Anderson, of Georgia, and myself, in the Chamber of Representa- 
tives of the Confederate States, said that Mr. Lincoln offered the 
Southern States nothing but unconditional submission — that it was 
utterly impossible to effect any peaceful negotiations with him; that 

The Hampton Roads Conference. 75 

he offered the Confederate States no terms at all but laying down 
our arms and trusting entirely to his clemency and that of the United 
States. Mr. Anderson and I both said that we could only reach 
those terms in any event, and we saw nothing to be accomplished by 
anticipating them. Mr. Stephens did not dissent from our expres- 

" I was told that Mr. Stephens had previous to this conversation, 
said ' we now only need stout hearts and strong arms.' I did not 
hear him say this; it was told me at breakfast on Sunday morning, 
February 5, 1865. My diary does not show who told me. I think 
it also came from Senator Orr. 


"Some time after the war, between 1866 and 1870, a somewhat 
heated controversy arose between two gentlemen in St. Augustine 
county, where I then lived, as to the paragraphs above quoted from 
Colonel Watterson's address. One of them averred in the most 
unqualified terms that the administration and Congress of the Con- 
federate States were alone to blame for the loss of the negroes as 
slaves, because Mr. Lincoln offered $400,000,000 for them at the 
Monroe Conference, and his offer was flatly refused. The other as 
warmly contradicted this averment. The latter was my lifelong 
friend, Colonel S. W. Blount, one of the signers of the Declaration 
of Independence of Texas, deceased only a few years since. He 
appealed to me for information as to fact. I told him that the state- 
ment made by his adversary was completely untrue. But the other 
gentleman insisted that I was mistaken. Colonel Blount, who in his 
boyhood had been a schoolmate of Mr. Stephens, wrote to him on 
the subject. Mr. Stephens promptly replied that it was not true 
that Mr. Lincoln had ever offered to pay any sum for the negroes of 
the South, and added: ' I think (as I now state from memory) that 
the only element of truth in the reference to the slaves of the South 
was so much mixed up and infused with falsehood as to make the 
entire assertion false.' Colonel Blount showed me Mr. Stephen's 
letter, and it was published at his request, in the Texas Republican, 
at Marshall, and several other Texas newspapers. 

"Colonel Blount's adversary, still not satisfied with the denial of 
Mr. Stephens, addressed a letter to Hon. John H. Reagan, stating 
that he (Reagan) being a member of President Davis's Cabinet, 
must know all about the facts, and telling him that it was his duty to 

76 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

state them for the information of the Southern people, and especially 
of the people of Texas. 

"Judge Reagan replied to him at considerable length, and in the 
plain and vigorous English which generally characterizes the writing 
of that venerable gentlemen, he said, directly and positively, that no 
offer had ever been made, nor was any such offer reported to Mr. 
Davis or his Cabinet, either in writing or verbally, by the commis- 
sioners, who, as he said, stated orally to Mr. Davis all that occurred." 

It is proper to state that Colonel Sexton was a member of the 
Confederate Congress; that he has ever since been a prominent law- 
yer in this State, and that he is a man of the highest social, moral and 
professional standing, whose word no one who knows him would 

I do not make these quotations to show a conflict between them 
and other statements attributed to Mr. Stephens. They may all be 
true, and still there is no conflict between them. These statements 
show, what Mr. Stephens' book and the other evidence shows, that 
no such offer was made. The other statements show that in certain 
private conversations between Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stephens, some 
such matter was talked of. We may understand that both sets of 
statements being true, and relating to different questions, there is no 
conflict between them. 

Mr. Watterson says: "I regret that Judge Reagan has seen fit 
to recur to a question I thought was settled." Innocent Mr. Wat- 
terson. When settled, and how ? I am now contributing my part 
towards the settlement of this question as truth and justice de- 
mands that it should be settled. Mr. Watterson assumes to advise 
me that it was untimely and ungracious to discuss this question at 
the Confederate Reunion at Nashville. I choose to discuss it before 
the brave and true men, who, having lost the cause for which they 
fought, have an interest in seeing that history shall not be perverted 
to the dishonor of that cause, and of the men who represented it. 

Mr. Watterson also says that " I have no personal motive, as 
Judge Reagan has, for making any special plea in favor of any par- 
ticular view." I do not know what personal motive Mr. Watterson 
attributes to me; but I confess to having a high and holy motive in 
this matter. It is, that the truth of history be established, in order 
that justice may be done to the dead and the living, and that the 
coming generation shall not be taught to believe false statements as 
to that history, tending to dishonor the President of the late Con- 

The Charge of the Crater. 77 

federacy, who, I think, was the bravest, truest, most virtuous, most 
self-sacrificing, and the greatest man I ever knew. 

If Mr. Watterson does not want contention on this subject kept 
up, why did he write a four or five column editorial on it ? when by 
his own statements, he does not disagree with me that no offer of 
-$400,000,000 was made at the Hampton Roads conference to the 
Confederate authorities by Mr. Lincoln for the slaves, to secure 
peace and reunion. 

John H. Reagan. 



By Lieutenant=ColoneI Wm. H. Stewart, C. S. Army. 

The editor is indebted to the gallant author for a revised copy of 
this excellent paper, which was published in the Norfolk, Virginia, 
Landmark, July 30, 1897, the thirty-third anniversary of the mem- 
orable action which is so graphically described. 

The article has been highly commended by Henry Tyrrell, the 
author of a series of articles on General R. E. Lee, which recently 
appeared in Pall Mall Gazette, London. 

Colonel Stewart, a valued citizen of Portsmouth, Virginia, is fa- 
vorably known to the public by his contributions to the press, as well 
as an entertaining lecturer: 

As the wild waves of time rush on, our thoughts now and then 
run back over rough billows, to buried hopes and unfulfilled antici- 
pations, and oft we linger long and lovingly, as if standing beside 
the tomb of a cherished parent. 

Thus the faithful follower of the Southern Cross recalls the proud 
hopes that led him over long and weary marches and in bloody bat- 

These foot -sore journeys and hard contested fields are now bright 
jewels in his life, around which the tenderest chords of his heart are 
closely entwined. 

They are monuments of duty! They are sacred resting places for 
his baffled energies! They are rich mines from which the very hum- 

78 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

blest actor gathers the wealth of an approving" conscience! He hears 
no paeans from a grateful country — no bounty rolls bear his name — 
yet these are sweet choristers eyer chanting priceless praises to the 
zeal and manhood with which he faced his foe. 

The veteran of an hundred battles always points with greater pride 
to one as the crowning glory of the many achievements. 

So the soldiers of Mahone's Old Brigade look upon the great bat- 
tle which I shall attempt to describe. 

My little fly tent, scarcely large enough for two persons to lie side 
by side under, was stretched over a platform of rough boards, elevated 
about two feet above the ground, in that little grave-yard on the 
Wilcox Farm, near Petersburg. 1 was quietly sleeping within it, 
dreaming, perhaps, of home and all its dear associations (for only a 
soldier can properly appreciate these), when a deep, rumbling sound, 
that seemed to rend the very earth in twain, startled me from my 
slumbers, and in an instant I beheld a mountain of curling smoke 
ascending towards the heavens. 

The whole camp had been aroused, and all were wondering from 
whence came this mysterious explosion. 

It was the morning of Saturday, at 4:44 o'clock, on the 30th day 
of July, 1864. The long-talked-of mine had been sprung, Pegram's 
battery of four guns was blown up, and about 278 sleeping soldiers 
were buried beneath the upturned earth. Immediately the leading 
columns of the Ninth Army Corps, U. S. A., commanded by Colo- 
nel E. G. Marshall and Brigadier-General W. F. Bartlett, pressed 
forward and occupied the Crater and the earthworks for a distance 
on either side. 

Two hundred cannons roared in one accord, as if every lanyard 
had been pulled by the same hand. The fiery crests of the battle- 
ments shone out for miles to our left, and, sweeping together, formed 
one vast range of gloom. It was a great gun conflict, with thunder- 
ing, booming, flashing, blazing, smoking, shrieking, thudding, 
crashing, majestic terrors of war. 


The sun rose brilliantly, and the great artillery duel continued to 
rage in all its grandeur and fury. An occasional shell from a Blakely 
gun would swoop down in our camp and ricochet down the line to 
our right, forcing us to hug closely the fortifications for protection. 

Soon after sunrise "Captain" Tom Bernard, courier for General 
William Mahone, came sweeping up the lines on his white charger 

The Charge of the Crater. 79 

to the headquarters of our brigade commander, Colonel D. A. 

Then the drums commenced rolling off the signals, which were 
followed by the command " fall in " and hurried roll calls. 

A large part of General Lee's army were on the north side of the 
James river, no reserves were at hand, and the line of fortifications 
on the south had to be unmanned to meet the emergency. 

So it fell to the lot of three brigades of Mahone's division to make 


We were required to drive back the Federal troops, who were 
then holding and within the very gates of the city of Petersburg. 

It was startling news; but our soldiers faltered not, and moved off 
at quickstep for the seat of war. 

Wright's Georgia Brigade, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel M. 
R. Hall, and our Virginia brigade commanded by Colonel D. A. 
Weisiger, the latter numbering scarcely 800 muskets, constituted the 
first force detailed to dislodge the enemy, who held the broken lines 
with more than fifteen thousand men, and these were closely sup- 
ported by an army of fifty-five thousand. 

I remember that our regiment (the Sixty-first), which I com- 
manded, did not exceed two hundred men, including officers and 
privates, and I am quite sure this was the strongest in the two brig- 
ades. The distance from Wilcox Farm to the Crater in an air line 
is about one and a half miles; by the circuitous route taken by Ma- 
hone's Brigade about two and a half miles. 

I suppose we had marched the half of a mile, when we were com- 
manded to halt and lay aside all luggage, except ammunition and 
muskets. Fighting-trim was the order. 

We then filed to the left a short distance to gain the banks of a 
small stream called "Lieutenant Run," in order to be protected 
from the shells of the Federal batteries by placing a range of hills 
between. These the enemy were already viewing, within four hun- 
dred yards, with covetous eyes, and making dispositions to attempt 
their capture; for they were the very keys to the invested city. 
When nearly opposite the portion of our works then held by the 
Federal troops, we met several soldiers who were in the works at 
the time of the explosion. Our men began to ridicule them for 
going to the rear, when one of them remarked: "Ah, boys, you 
have hot work ahead; they are negroes and show no quarter." 

80 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

This was the first intimation that we had to fight negro troops, and 
it seemed to infuse the little band with impetuous daring as they 
pressed forward to the fray. 


I never felt more like fighting in my life. Our comrades had been 
slaughtered in a most inhuman and brutal manner, and slaves were 
trampling over their mangled and bleeding corpses. Revenge must 
have fired every heart and strung every arm with nerves of steel for 
the Herculean task of blood. We filed up a ditch, which had been 
dug for a safe ingress and egress to and from the earthworks, until 
we reached the vale between the elevation on which the breastworks 
were located and the one on the banks of the little stream just men- 
tioned — within two hundred yards of the enemy. The ill-fated 
battery, which had been demolished by the explosion, projected from 
the line of earthworks for the infantry at an acute angle, and was 
called Elliott's Salient. It overlooked the enemy's line of works, 
which were on the northeastern slope of the same elevation, about 
ioo yards distant. 

The " Crater," or excavation caused by the explosion, was about 
twenty-five feet deep, sixty feet wide and 150 feet long, with its crest 
about twelve feet above the ground. About seventy-five feet in rear 
of the line of earthworks there was a wide ditch with the bank 
thrown up on the side next to the fortifications. This was con- 
structed to protect parties carrying ammunition and rations to the 

Between this irregular and ungraded embankment and the main 
line the troops had dug numerous caves, in which they slept at night 
to be protected from the mortar shells that every evening traced 
sparkling circles in death search, like shooting stars bespangling the 
heavens with meteoric beauty. 

The embankment, from the bottom of the ditch, was about ten 
feet high, and commanded the outer or main line. The space from 
the outside of the fortifications to the inner edge of the ditch was 
probably more than 100 feet wide. 

The Crater and a space of about 200 yards on the north were lit- 
erally crammed with the enemy's troops. 

Official report shows that five army corps were massed to aid in 
the assault of the lines broken by the explosion, which reported pres- 
ent for duty on the 31st of July, the day after the battle, as follows: 

The Charge of the Crater. 81 

Second Corps, - - - - - - 14,612 

Fifth Corps, ------ 16,529 

Ninth Corps, - - . - - - 10,700 

Tenth Corps, ------ 13,362 

Eighteenth Corps, - I]: >333 

Total, - - - - - 66,536 
Add to these the losses on the 30th, as reported in the 

War Records, Series 1, Volume XI, Part 1, page 167, 4,400 

Making a total of - 70,936 

This army held the inner and outer line of the Confederate works 
from a few minutes after the explosion until about 8 145 o'clock A. M. 
with only artillery between it and the coveted city of Petersburg. 


The heroic achievement of the artillery corps, in keeping this army 
checked until reinforcements arrived, deserve equal share in the 
great victory of that day. 

Mahone's Old Brigade and part of the Georgia Brigade, deployed, 
covered the enemy's front from about the centre of the Crater to 
their right. The silken banners of the enemy proudly floated on the 
breezes, supported by countless bayonets glistening in the sunlight, 
might on an ordinary occasion have daunted our little band and 
made them forfeit a trial of arms; but they were desperate and de- 
termined, and reckoned not the hosts that confronted them. I recol- 
lect counting seven standards in front of our regiment alone, and 
said to my soldiers, " We must have those flags, boys! " Our col- 
umn was deployed in the valley before mentioned, in full view of 
these hostile thousands. As the soldiers filed into line, General Ma- 
hone walked from right to left, commanding the men to reserve their 
fire until they reached the brink of the ditch, and after delivering 
one volley to use the bayonet. Our line was hardly adjusted, and 
the Georgians had not finished deploying, when the division of ne- 
groes — the advance line of the enemy — made an attempt to rise from 
the ditch and charge. Just at that instant, about 8:45 o'clock, A. 
M., a counter charge was ordered. The men rushed forward, offi- 
cers in front, with uncovered heads and waving hats, and grandly 
and beautifully swept onward over the intervening space, with 
muskets at trail. The enemy sent a storm of bullets in our 
ranks, and here and there a gallant fellow would fall, but the files 

82 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

would close, still pressing onward, unwavering, into the jaws of 

Was Cardigan's charge of the 600 more desperate, save that his 
was to defeat, Mahone's to victory. 

The orders of General Mahone were obeyed to the very letter. 
The brink of the ditch was gained before a musket was discharged. 
The cry "No quarter" greeted us, the one volley responded, and 
the bayonet was plied with such irresistible vigor that success was 
insured within a short space of time. Men fell dead in heaps, and 
human gore ran in streams that made the very earth mire beneath 
the tread of our victorious soldiers. 

The rear ditch being ours, the men mounted the rugged embank- 
ments and hurled their foes from the front line up to the very mouth 
of the Crater. 

A clipping headed "A Grand Spectacle," in the Saturday Blade, 
of Chicago, 111., October 26, 1895, says: I asked an old soldier the 
other day what was the most interesting scene he had ever witnessed, 
and his reply was: 

" General William Mahone and his troops on dress parade at the 
Battle of the Crater. It was the grandest spectacle ever seen on a 
battlefield. Men were falling like leaves under the raking volleys 
of the enemy, but there was not a break in the line that was not in- 
stantly filled up with a calmness and a precision that were sublime! " 


The Georgians, who did not charge with our Virginia brigade, 
formed in column of regiments, and at 11 o'clock A. M. charged 
the Crater; but they were met by such a withering fire that they re- 
coiled with heavy slaughter. Their casualties numbered 231. 

Our bloody work was all done so quickly that I had scarcely an 
idea of the time it required to accomplish it. It was over, I am 
sure, about noon, and then for the first time I realized the oppression 
of the scorching rays of that July sun, under whose burning glow 
many sank from exhaustion. Our brigade captured fifteen battle- 
flags, and our own regiment owned five of the seven that I had 
counted in its front. The Georgians captured one. How many 
men rallied to each of these flags I can only estimate from the figures 
above given. The 9th corps had been recently recruited, and its 
regiments must have been well up towards a thousand. General 
Burnside said he put every single man into action; so, from these 
facts and the captured flags, the reader may form a correct idea of 

The Charge of the Crater. 83 

the number we had overcome. In that supreme moment, when ex- 
ulting over a great victory, as our eyes fell upon the bleeding com- 
rades around us, our hearts sickened within for those who lay dead, 
dying, wounded and writhing in agonies of pain. 

The wonderful triumph had been won at the price of the blood of 
the bravest and best and truest. Old Co. F, of Norfolk, Va., car- 
ried in twelve men, all of whom was killed or wounded; the 6th 
regiment, to which it was attached, carried in ninety-eight men, and 
mustered ten for duty at this time; the sharpshooters carried in 
eighty men, and sixteen remained for duty. Our regiment, the 6ist, 
lost nineteen killed and forty-three wounded; the 12th regiment lost 
twelve killed and twenty-six wounded; the 16th lost twenty-one 
killed and eighteen wounded, and the 41st regiment lost thirteen 
killed and thirty-one wounded. Colonel Weisiger, commanding our 
brigade, was wounded and the command devolved upon Colonel 
Rogers. The total loss of the brigade was 258. There were many 
special acts of gallantry exhibited on this field, which I shall not stop 
to detail, for General Lee said: "All who charged from that vale 
crowned themselves heroes," and they need no encomiums from my 
feeble pen. 

Although our principal task was finished at noontide, yet more 
heavy work remained to be done to fully re-establish our lines. 
Brigadier-General Bartlett, with about 600 men, was cooped up in 
the Crater, and their capture was the crowning event of the bloody 

Our wounded men were sent to the field hospital as fast as pos- 
sible, and after piling the enemy's dead on each side of the trenches, 
to make a clear pass-way, the ranks of our brigade were closed up 
in proper order. 

General Mahone carefully examined the lines, and ordered us to 
keep a sharp fire on the enemy's works in front to keep them close, 
and on the Crater to our right to prevent Bartlett' s escape, as our 
position commanded his rear, while Saunders' Alabama Brigade 
formed in the valley and charged. 


The Alabamians made a grand charge under a terrible fire, reach- 
ing the crest of the crater without faltering. Here a short and des- 
perate struggle ensued. They tumbled clubs, clods of earth, muskets 
and cannon balls into the excavation on the heads of the enemy with 
telling effect. This novel warfare lasted only a short time before the 

84 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

white flag went up, and about 500 prisoners marched to the rear and 
three flags were surrendered to the Alabama Brigade. 

Hon. George Clark, of Waco, Texas, who was then on the staff 
of the gallant General Saunders, in a graphic description of the 
charge, says: 

"When we reached the scene we were met by General Mahone, 
accompanied by General Bushrod Johnson, and General Mahone 
gave directions as to how he wished the brigade formed. It was then 
about 11 A. M. The rifle-pits to the left of the Crater (enemy's 
right) were then held by the Virginia Brigade, their right resting at 
the Crater. I was sent by General Saunders to look over the ground, 
and went forward to the rim of the Crater. I there met and talked 
with Lieutenant-Colonel W. H. Stewart and other acquaintances in 
the Virginia Brigade, including Colonel Rogers, if my memory is 
correct, both of whom I knew well, having served with them upon 
General Court-Martial the preceding winter. I found that while the 
Virginians had done their part of the job thoroughly, and were hold- 
ing their positions heroically, Wright's Georgia Brigade had failed 
to carry the trenches on the right of the Crater (enemy's left), and 
the Crater itself was still in possession of the enemy, filled not only 
with negro troops, but also with a much larger per cent, of white 
troops, as was demonstrated after the capture. I returned and re- 
ported the situation to General Saunders. At this time our brigade 
was resting on their arms just east of a little branch or marsh under 
the hill. I was instructed by General Saunders to pass along the 
line, count the men, and inform them, as well as company command- 
ers, that our attack would begin at 2 o'clock, upon the firing of two 
signal guns from the batteries in our rear — that every man must be 
ready to rise and go forward at the signal, slowly at first, and then 
at a double-quick as soon as we rose the hill — that our object was 


on our right as well as the Crater, and for this purpose the brigade 
would be compelled to right oblique after starting, so as to cover the 
points of attack — no man was to fire a shot until we reached the 
works, and arms must be carried at a right-shoulder shift. I was 
also instructed by General Saunders to inform the men that General 
Lee had notified him that there were no other troops at hand to re- 
capture the works, and if this brigade did not succeed in the first 
attempt, they would be formed again and renew the assault, and that 

The Charge of the Crater. 85 

if it was necessary, he (General Lee) would lead them. As a mat- 
ter of fact, a large portion of the army was on that day east of the 
James river. These directions of General Saunders were communi- 
cated at once to every officer and man, and by actual count made by 
me the brigade had in line 632 muskets. 

"At the boom of the signal guns the Alabama brigade rose at a 
" right-shoulder shift," and moved forward in perfect alignment — 
slowly at first, until we came in sight of the enemy and received his 
first fire, and then with a dash to the works. For a moment or two 
the enemy overshot us and did no damage, but as we reached the 
works many were struck down and the gaps were apparent, but the 
alignment remained perfect. It was as handsome a charge as was 
ever made on any field, and could not have been excelled by the 
"Guard" at Waterloo, under Ney. 

" On reaching the works the real fight began. Our men poured 
over into the Crater, and the ring of steel and bayonet in hand-to- 
hand fight began. Men were brained by butts of guns, and run 
through with bayonets. This melee kept up for at least fifteen min- 
utes, the enemy fighting with desperation because they were im- 
pressed with the idea that no quarter would be given. The credit of 
capturing the Crater and all its contents belongs to Morgan Smith 
Cleveland, then Adjutant of the 8th Alabama Regiment, who now 
fills a patriot's grave at Selma, Alabama. 


" Standing in the Crater, in the midst of the horrid carnage, with 
almost bursting heart, he said to a Federal colonel who was near him : 
' Why in the h — don't you fellows surrender?' and he put the 
accent on the cuss-word. The Yankee replied quickly: 'Why in 
the h — don't you let us.' A wink being as good as a nod, either to 
a blind horse or a brave soldier, the effect was instantaneous. The 
enemy threw down their arms, marched out as prisoners, some being 
killed or wounded by their own cannon as they filed past where I 
stood, and the day was saved as a glorious heritage for the Southern 
soldier and those who came after him. I remember helping General 
Bartlett, who was trying to get out on two muskets inverted and used 
as crutches. I could see no evidence of physical pain in his face, 
and remarked to him that he must have nerves of steel, as his leg 
was shot away. He smiled, and replied that he had lost his real leg 
at Williamsburg two years before, and the leg he had just had shat- 
tered was a cork leg. ' ' 

86 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

The negro prisoners were very much alarmed, and vociferously 
implored for their lives. One old cornfield chap exclaimed: "My 
God, massa, I nebber pinted a gun at a white man in all my life; 
dem nasty, stinking Yankees fotch us here, and we didn't want to 
come fus! " 

The appearance of this rough, irregular hole beggars description. 
It was estimated that it contained 600 bodies. The importance of 
reconstructing this broken line of earthworks at once prevented the 
removal of all of these dead men, therefore 233 of the enemy's dead 
were buried as they had fallen, in one indiscriminate heap in the pit 
of the Crater. Spades were brought in, and the earth thrown from 
the sides of the excavation until they were covered a sufficient depth. 
By 3 o'clock P. M. all was over, and we were enjoying a welcome 
truce. The extreme heat of the sun had already caused putrefaction 
of the dead to commence, and the bodies in our front and rear, and 
especially the blood-soaked earth under our feet in the trenches, 
exhaled such a nauseating smell that I was forced to abandon my 
supper, although I had not tasted a morsel of food since the previous 

The reports of the losses on the Federal side vary, but as above 
quoted, it is put down from all the five corps which aided in the 
assault at 4,400 total; but their loss was estimated at the time to be 
between 5,000 and 6,000. General Burnside says in his report that 
his 9th corps lost twenty-three commanders of regiments, four killed, 
fifteen wounded, and four missing; two brigade commanders, Gen- 
eral W. F. Bartlett and Colonel E. G. Marshall, prisoners; fifty-two 
officers and 376 men killed; 105 officers and 1,556 men wounded; 
eighty-seven officers and 1,652 men missing; total 3,828. 


There were thousands of captured arms around us, and during the 
night some of our men would shoot ramrods at the enemy, just for 
the fun of hearing them whiz. One that was shot over, drew from a 
Federal soldier the exclamation, "Great God! Johnnie, you are 
throwing turkey spits and stringing us together over here. Stop 

A correspondent of one the New York daily newspapers, writing 
a description of this battle from accounts obtained from wounded 
officers, who arrived in Washington on the 2d of August, 1864, 

" Two steamers arrived here yesterday from City Point. 

The Charge of the Crater. 87 

" They brought up a large number of candidates for medical and 
surgical attendance. 

" The wounds of the wounded are ghastly. 

"They were inflicted by the enemy in front of Petersburg, on 
Saturday, the 30th of July — a day that will be memorable as wit- 
nessing the failure — the utter and disastrous failure — of the great 
plan that was expected to scatter or destroy the army of General 
Lee. A large number of the wounded are officers who participated 
in the assault on the enemy's lines. . * * * 

" Statements from such sources are worthy of attention if not full 
faith. * * * 

"At forty minutes after four the earth began to tremble. 

"Then a great mass of clay and debris was thrown about one 
hundred feet in the air. 

" Then a heavy sound, deep and rumbling, differing from any 
ever before heard by the Army of the Potomac, was borne five miles 

" For a few moments the air was thick with dust, and then the 
great yawning gap was visible. 

" The mine had done its work. 

"Then the artillery opened. Never on the American continent 
was heard such an awful roar. 

" It commenced on the right and extended to the left, gun after 
gun joining in mighty chorus. Gettysburg, Malvern Hill, Spot- 
sylvania, Cold Harbor — these were as nothing. It was dreadful and 
unparalleled. * * * 

" Often have the Confederates won enconiums for valor, but never 
before did they fight with such uncontrollable desperation. 

" It appeared as if our troops were at their mercy, standing help- 
less or running in terror and shot down like dogs. 

" The charge of the enemy against the negro troops was terrific. 

" With fearful yells they rushed down against them. 

"The negroes at once ran back, breaking through the lines of 
white troops in the rear. 

"Again and again their officers tried to rally them. 

' ' Words and blows were useless. 

' ' They were victims of an uncontrollable terror, and human agency 
could not stop them." 

Such was the testimony of the Federal wounded of the terror and 
carnage of the battle! This correspondence estimated their loss at 

88 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


Captain George L. Killmer, of Marshall's Brigade, says: "The 
awful explosion, when it came, confused our men more than it did 
the Confederates, except the few Confederates who were blown up. 
We were in a state of expectancy, awaiting orders, when suddenly 
the ground rocked under foot and an immense mass of earth, tim- 
bers, cannon and soldiers in gray, enveloped in dust and powder 
smoke, leaped into the air, and hung there, as it seemed, ready to 
fall and bury our lines in the ruins. Hundreds shrunk back, ap- 
palled and unmassed. Colonel Elisha C. Marshall, who was also 
colonel of my regiment, sprang upon the wall in front, and waving 
a signal, shouted 'Forward.' Officers and soldiers, to the number 
of a couple of hundred, joined him instantly, climbing the barrier by 
the help of bayonets and upon one another's shoulders. Without 
looking to see how many followed, the party dashed forward to the 
pit, and there found a great hole encircled by a wall made of the 
falling earth and debris. We struck the left flank of the breach and 
planted our flag there." 

Then after describing intervening events, Captain Killmer says: 


" In the pit pandemonium reigned. Men shot on the crest tum- 
bled in upon the wounded, lying in torture at the bottom. The day 
was hot. Sulphurous gases escaped from the debris and there was 
no water at hand, the way back to the Union lines was swept by fire 
and was corduroyed with dead. Refusing to retreat, men sought 
death by charging forward. Officers threw away their lives by 
mounting the walls to inspire the men to move out and relieve the 
horrible jam in the pit. One of these martyrs was a mere boy, 
Lieutenant Pennell, an aid to General Thomas. So many bullets 
struck him that his body whirled around like a top before it fell. 

Lieutenant-General U. S. Grant, commanding the United States 
Army, in his report to General Halleck, under date of August i, 
1864, at City Point, Va. , says: 

" The loss in the disaster of Saturday last foots up about 3,500, of 
whom 450 men were killed and 2,000 wounded. 

" It was the saddest affair I have witnessed in the war. 

"Such opportunity for carrying fortifications I have never seen 
and do not expect to again to have. 

" The enemy, with a line of works five miles long, had been re- 

The Charge of the Crater. 89 

duced, by our previous movements to the north side of James river, 
to a force of only three divisions. This line was undermined and 
blown up, carrying- a battery and most of a regiment with it. 

"The enemy were taken completely by surprise and did not re- 
cover from it for more than an hour. 

"The Crater and several hundred yards of the enemy's line to 
the right and left of it, and a short detached line in front of the 
Crater, were occupied by our troops without opposition. 

"Immediately in front of this, and not 150 yards off, with clear 
ground intervening, was the crest of the ridge leading into town, 
and which, if carried, the enemy would have made no resistance, 
but would have continued a flight already commenced. 

" It was three hours from the time our troops first occupied their 
works before the enemy took possession of the crest. 

' ' I am constrained to believe that, had instructions been promptly 
obeyed, Petersburg would have been carried, with all the artillery 
and a large number of prisoners, without a loss of 300 men. 

" It was in getting back to our lines that the loss was sustained. 

"The enemy attempted to charge and retake the lines captured 
from them, and were repulsed with heavy loss by our artillery. 
Their loss in killed must be greater than ours, whilst our loss in 
wounded and captured is four times that of the enemy." — Official 
Records, Serial Number 80, page 17. 

"The enemy" which took possession of the crest was evidently 
Mahone's Brigade, and the charge repulsed mentioned by General 
Grant must have been that of Wright's Brigade. 

Next morning was a bright and beautiful Sabbath, and nothing 
worth noting occurred. Many of the Federal dead remained on the 
field, putrefying under the scorching rays of the sun. 

I remember a negro, between the lines, who had both legs blown 
off. He crawled up to the outside of our works, struck three mus- 
kets with bayonets in the ground, and threw a small pice of tent 
cloth over them to shelter his head from the hot sunshine. After 
awhile, in an interval, when the shots from the enemy had slackened, 
one of our soldiers managed to push a cup of water to him, which 
he drank and immediately commenced to froth at the mouth, dying 
in a very short time after. 

He had lived in this mangled condition for nearly twenty-four hours 
and for a part of the time almost baking under the hot sun. 

90 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


On Monday morning a truce was granted, and the Federals sent 
out details to bury their dead between the lines. They dug a long 
ditch and placed the bodies crosswise, several layers up, and then 
refilled it. After they had finished burying their dead and were 
moving off, General Mahone noticed that they had left the dirt piled 
high enough for breastworks on the slope of the hill, midway be- 
tween the two lines of battle. He quickly discovered the danger of 
this, as it would have afforded shelter for another assaulting column. 
He stopped the burial detail and made them level the ground, as 
they found it. 

General Pendleton, Chief of Artillery of General Lee's army, was 
standing near, and paid a high compliment to Mahone' s foresight. 


This was the last act in this celebrated battle — a battle won by the 
charge of three small brigades of Virginia, Georgia and AJabama 
troops, numbering less than 2,000 muskets, with the aid of the artil- 
lery, which rendered effective service to the charging columns, over 
an army of 70,000 men behind breast- works, which surrendered to 
this small force nineteen flags. 

General B. R. Johnson, who commanded the lines which were 
broken by the explosion and upheaval of the Crater, in his report of 
the battle, said: "To the able commander and gallant officers and 
men of Mahone' s Division, to whom we are mainly indebted for the 
restoration of our lines, I offer my acknowledgments for their great 
service. ' ' 

Secretary of War James A. Seddon said: "Let appropriate ac- 
knowledgment be made to the gallant general and his brave troops. 
Let the names of the captors (of the flags) be noted on the roll of 
honor and published." 

Nowhere in all the history of war were greater odds driven out of 
fortifications and defeated. The charge of the three brigades of 
Mahone' s Division is a record of triumph unsurpassed in warfare. 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 91 


Confederate States Army. 


An Address by Hunter McGuire, M. D., LL.D. 

This address, as felicitous in its delineation of the character of one 
of the greatest soldiers of the age as it is acute and comprehensive 
in its recountal of his achievements, has been several times delivered 
by its distinguished author before large and representative audiences, 
first on June 23, 1897, at the dedication of the Jackson Memorial 
Hall, at Lexington, Va. , next before R. E. Lee Camp Confederate 
Veterans, at Richmond, Va. , on July 2d, and since, at other places. 
It has been enthusiastically received on every occasion. 

The close official relation of Medical-Director McGuire with Gen- 
eral Jackson afforded the best possible advantages for an intimate 
knowledge of the character of the great leader. 

The address itself is a striking evidence of the versatility of the 
genius of one of the foremost surgeons and physicians in this era of 
medical progress. 

It is now printed from a corrected copy furnished by Dr. McGuire. 

I understand, and I beg this audience to understand, that I am 
here to-day, not because I have any place among the orators, or am 
able to do anything except " to speak right on," and " tell you that 
which you yourselves do know; " but because the noblest heritage I 
shall hand down to my children is the fact that Stonewall Jackson 
condescended to hold me and treat me as his friend. I know, and 
you know, that as long as valor and virtue are honored among men, 
as long as greatness of mind and grandeur of soul excite our admi- 
ration, as long as Virginia parents desire noble examples to set before 
their sons, and as long as there dwells in the souls of Virginia boys 
that fire of native nobleness which can be kindled by the tales of 
heroic endeavor, so long will Virginia men and women be ready to 
hear of the words and the deeds of Virginia's heroic sons, and there- 
fore ready and glad to hear how valorous and how virtuous, how- 
great and how grand in every thought and action was the Virginian 
of whom I speak to-night — to know in what awesome Titanic mould 

92 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

was cast that quiet professor who once did his duty here; that silent 
stranger whom no man knew until " the fire of God fell upon him in 
the battlefield," as it did upon Arthur — the fire by which Sir Launce- 
lot knew him for his king — the fire that like the ' ' live coal from off 
the altar touched the lips " of Jackson and brought from them that 
kingly voice which the eagle of victory knew and obeyed. For a 
king was Stonewall Jackson, if ever royalty, anointed as by fire, 
appeared among men. 

When Egypt, or Persia, or Greece, or Rome was the world; when 
the fame of a king reached the borders of his own dominion, but 
scarcely crossed them; when a great conqueror was known as far as 
his banners could fly; friends (or enemies) could assign a warrior's 
rank amongst mankind and his place in history. These latter ages 
have agreed that a Rameses, a Cyrus, an Alexander, or a Constantine 
shall be styled "The Great" — accepting therein the estimate put 
upon them by the contracted times in which they lived, supported, 
perchance, by the story of their deeds as laboriously chiseled on 
some long buried slab, recorded on some hardly recovered sheets of 
ancient parchment, or written on some dozen pages of a literature, 
the language of which serves the purposes of the ghost along the 
Styx, as they tell each other of glories long departed. 

To-day the world is wide, and before the world's tribunal each 
candidate for historic honors must appear. The world's estimate, 
and that alone, posterity will accept, and even that it will hereafter 
most carefully revise. 

The young Emperor of Germany, seeking to decree his grand- 
father's place in history, would have him styled "William the Great." 
Here and there, in one nation and another, press and people combine 
to deify some popular hero and offer him for the plaudits or the wor- 
ship of the age. It is a vain endeavor. The universal judgment 
cannot be forestalled. No force or artifice can make mankind accept 
as final the false estimate instead of the true. Money, powerful, 
dangerous and threatening as it now is in this republic, cannot for 
long buy a verdict. The unbiased world alone is capable of stamp- 
ing upon the forehead of man that mark which neither the injustice 
of adverse interest, nor envy's gnawing tooth, nor the ceaseless flow 
of the river of time are able to efface. 

Therefore, it was with swelling heart and deep thankfulness that I 
recently heard some of the first soldiers and military students of 
England declare that within the past two hundred years the English 
speaking race has produced but five soldiers of the first class — Marl- 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 93 

borough, Washington, Wellington, Robert Lee, and Stonewall Jack- 
son. I heard them declare that Jackson's campaign in the Shenan- 
doah Valley, in which you, and you, and you, and I myself in my 
subordinate place, followed this Immortal, was the finest specimen of 
strategy and tactics of which the world has any record; that in this 
series of marches and battles there was never a blunder committed 
by Jackson; that this campaign in the Valley was superior to either 
of those made by Napoleon in Italy. One British officer, who teaches 
strategy in a great European college, told me that he used this cam- 
paign as a model of strategy and tactics, and dwelt upon it for several 
months in his lectures; that it was taught for months of each session 
in the schools of Germany; and that Von Moltke, the great strate- 
gist, declared it was without rival in the world's history. This same 
British officer told me that he had ridden on horseback over the 
battlefields of the Valley, and carefully studied the strategy and 
tactics there displayed by Jackson. He had followed him to Rich- 
mond, where he joined with Lee in the campaign against McClellan 
in 1862; that he had followed his detour around Pope; his manage- 
ment of his troops at Manassas; that he had studied his environment 
of Harper's Ferry and its capture; his part of the fight at Sharps- 
burg, and his flank move around Hooker, and that he had never 
blundered. "Indeed," he added, "Jackson seemed tome (him) 
inspired. ' ' Another British soldier told me that for its numbers the 
Army of Northern Virginia had more force and power than any other 
army that ever existed. 

High as is my estimate of the Second Corps of the Army of Nor- 
thern Virginia, I heard these opinions with a new elation, for I knew 
they presented the verdict of impartial history; the verdict that pos- 
terity will stamp with its approval ; a verdict in itself such a tribute 
to valor and virtue, devotion and truth, as shall serve to inspire, exalt 
and ennoble our children and our children's children to the remotest 

You will not be surprised to hear of my telling them, that of these 
five, thus over-topping all the rest, three were born in the State of 
Virginia; nor wonder that I reverently remember that two of them 
lie side by side here in Lexington, while one is sleeping by the great 
river, there to sleep 'till time shall be no more; the three conse- 
crating in death the soil of Virginia, as in life they stamped their 
mother State as the native home of men who, living as they lived, 
shall be fit to go on quest for the Holy Grail. 

And now I hope I may be able to tell you what evidence of this 

94 Southern Historical Society Peepers. 

accredited greatness — what warrant for the justness of this verdict — 
I, and others with me, saw in the quiet of the camp and in the rush 
of the battle; and how I saw with my eyes, and stand hereto declare, 
that his greatness vanished not, nor faded, but the brighter shone, 
when the shadows of evening were falling and the darkness of death 
gathered round. 

In seeking to define Jackson's place in history I accept Lord 
Wolseley's definition of a great commander. He declares in effect, 
that the marks of this rare character, are: First of all — the power, 
the instinct, the inspiration to divine the condition and purposes of 
your enemy. Secondly — the genius that in strategy instantly de- 
vises the combinations most likely to defeat those purposes. Thirdly 
— the physical and moral courage, the absolute self-reliance that 
takes the risk of decision, and the skill that promptly and properly 
delivers the blow that shatters the hostile plans, so managing one's 
own forces (even when small), as to have the greater number at the 
point of attack. Fourthly — the cool judgement that is unshaken by 
the clash and clamor of emergences. And last, but not least, the 
prevision, the caution that cares for the lives and well-being of the 
private soldiers, and the personal magnetism that rouses tfce enthu- 
siasm and affection, that make the commander's presence on the 
battlefield, the incentive to all that human beings can dare, and the 
unquestioned hope and sure promise of victory. 

Many incidents of Jackson's career prove that he possessed the 
instinctive power to know the plight, and to foretell the purposes of 
the Federal army and its commanders. To describe the first that I 
recall: While dressing his wounded hand at the first Manassas, at 
the field hospital of the brigade at Young's Branch, near the Lewis 
house, I saw President Davis ride up from Manassas. He had been 
told by stragglers, that our army had been defeated. He stopped 
his horse in the middle of the little stream, stood up in his stirrups 
(the palest, sternest face I ever saw), and cried to the great crowd of 
soldiers: " I am President Davis; follow me back to the field." 

General Jackson did not hear distinctly. I told him who it was, 
and what he said. He stood up, took off his cap and cried: " We 
have whipped them; they ran like sheep. Give me 10,000 men and, 
I will take Washington city to-morrow." Who doubts now that he 
could have done so ? 

When, in May, 1862, he whipped Banks at Winchester and had, 
what seemed then and even now, the audacity to follow him to Har- 
per's Ferry, he not only knew the number and condition of Banks' 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 95 

army, but in his mind he clearly saw the locality and strength of the 
armies of Fremont and McDowell, gradually converging from the 
east and west towards Strasburg to cut of his retreat. He knew the 
leaders of these hostile forces, their skill and moral courage, and 
calculated on it, and this so nicely that he was able to pass between 
them without a moment to spare. Indeed, he held these hosts apart 
with his skirmishers while his main army passed through, each com- 
mander of the Federal army in doubt and dread whether the mighty 
and mysterous Jackson intended one of his overwhelming blows for 
him. Both, doubtless, hoping the other one would catch it. Cer- 
tainly they acted in a way to indicate this. 

With the help of Ashby and Stuart he always knew the location 
and strength of his enemy. He knew the fighting quality of the 
enemy's forces too. " Let the Yankees get very close," he said to 
Ewell at Cross Keys, "before your infantry fires, they won't stand 
long." I asked him at Cedar Run if he expected a battle that day. 
He smiled and said: " Banks is in our front and he is generally wil- 
ling to fight, and," he added very slowly, as if to himself, "and he 
generally gets whipped." 

At Malvern Hill, when a portion of our army was beaten and to 
some extent demoralized, Hill and Ewell and Early came to tell him 
that they could make no resistance if McClellan attacked them in 
the morning. It was difficult to wake General Jackson, as he was 
exhausted and very sound asleep. I tried it myself and after many 
efforts partly succeeded. When he was made to understand what 
was wanted, he said: "McClellan and his army will be gone by 
daylight," and went to sleep again. The generals thought him mad, 
but the prediction was true. 

At Sharpsburg, when on the 17th, our army had repulsed three 
great assaults in succession and was reduced to a thin line, happen- 
ing to have urgent business that took me to the front, I expressed 
to General Jackson my apprehension lest the surging mass of the 
enemy might get through. He replied: " I think they have done 
their worst and there is now no danger of the line being- broken." 
McClellan' s inaction during the long 18th when General Lee stood 
firm and offered him battle, proves that Jackson knew his enemy's 

At Fredericksburg, after Burnside's repulse, he asked me how 
many bandages I had. I told him, and asked why he wanted to 
know. He said that he wanted to have a piece of white cloth to tie 
on each man's arm that his soldiers might recognize each other in a 

96 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

night attack, and he asked to be allowed to make such an attack and 
drive the foe into the swollen river or capture him. Subsequent 
events demonstrated that he would have accomplished his purpose. 

"drive them into the river." 

It was said that at a council of war, called by General Lee after 
the Fredericksburg battle, Jackson went to sleep during the discus- 
sion, and when suddenly aroused and asked for his advice, he simply 
replied: " Drive them into the river." 

That he possessed the genius to devise and the skill and courage 
to deliver the blow needed to defeat his foes — is it not amply proved 
by the general fact that his army in the Valley campaign was never 
over 17,000, and generally less, and that for a time he was keeping 
at bay 100,000 Federal soldiers — 60,000 in or near the great valley, 
and 40,000 at Fredericksburg — soundly thrashing in the field, from 
time to time, large portions of this great army? Not to mention 
details, Jackson and his small force influenced the campaign to the 
extent of keeping 100,000 Federal troops away from Richmond, and 
compelling the Federal government to employ a larger force than 
the whole of the Confederate army, in order, as Lincoln said, "to 
protect the National Capital." In the operations necessary to ac- 
complish this, he encountered one (his first and only defeat), that at 
Kernstown, which he and others, who trusted his judgment, believed 
was due to an untimely order to fall back, given by one of his bravest 
and truest of brigade commanders. But that defeat was so full of bril- 
liant results to our cause that the Confederate Congress thanked him 
for the batt'e. The gallant and brilliant officer who gave this order 
was put under arrest (whether wisely or not is not for present discus- 
sion), but the effect was to prevent any other man or officer from 
ordering a retreat on any subsequent field of battle where Jackson 
was, whether out of ammunition or not. 

Thence he went immediately to McDowell, Winchester, Cross 
Keys and Port Republic, winning battle after battle, having always 
the smaller army but the larger number actually fighting (except at 
Cross Keys), illustrating the truth of what a Federal officer tells us 
a Yankee soldier said after the stern struggle at Groveton : ' ' These 
rebels always put their small numbers in strong positions and then 
manage to be the stronger at the point where the rub comes." And 
so, notwithstanding the tremendous odds against him in the whole 
theatre, he met another test of a great commander, in concentrating 
against his opponent the larger force. 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 97 

I cannot give you any instances or illustrations of the mental action 
by which he reached his conclusions or devised the combinations 
which defeated his enemy, for Jackson took no counsel save with his 
"familiar," the Genius of War, and his God. He did hold one, 
and only one, council of war. In March, 1862, at Winchester, Jack- 
son had in his small army less than 5,000 men. Gen. Banks, who 
was advancing upon Winchester from Harper's Ferry and Charles- 
town, had 30,000 soldiers. Gen. Jackson repeatedly offered Gen. 
Banks battle, but the latter declined, and on the night of the nth of 
March went into camp four miles from Winchester. Gen. Jackson 
sent for his officers and proposed to make a night attack, but the 
plan was not approved by the council. He sent for the officers a 
second time, some hours later, and again urged them to make the 
night assault, but they again disapproved of the attempt. So, late 
in the afternoon, we withdrew from Winchester and marched to New- 
town. I rode with the General as we left the place, and as we reached 
a high point overlooking the town, we both turned to look at Win- 
chester, just evacuated and now left to the mercy of the Federal 

I think that a man may sometimes yield to overwhelming emotion, 
and I was utterly overcome by the fact that I was leaving all that I 
held dear on earth, but my emotion was arrested by one look at 
Jackson. His face was fairly blazing with the fire that was burning 
in him, and I felt awed before him. Presently he cried out with a 
manner almost savage: " That is the last council of war I will ever 
hold ! ' ' And it was — his first and last. Thereafter he held council 
in the secret chambers of his own heart, and acted. Instantaneous 
decision, absolute self-reliance, every action, every word displayed, 
his voice displayed it in battle. It was not the peal of the trumpet, 
but the sharp crack of the rifle, sudden, imperative, resolute. 

I venture a word as to the battles in which Jackson's conduct has 
been criticised. The delay at Gaines' Mill has been the subject of 
much comment. The truth is that General Lee directed Jackson to 
place his corps on our extreme left, where he would be joined by the 
command of D. H. Hill. He ordered him to form in line of battle 
with Hill and wait until McClellan retreated towards the Pamunkey, 
and then to strike him a side blow and capture him. For this purpose 
Jackson had, with Hill's division, 25,500 men. When we arrived at 
Gaines' Mill, D. H. Hill had engaged the enemy. Jackson, obey- 
ing Lee's instructions, sent an aide to inform Hill of the orders of 

the Commander-in-Chief, and it was with some difficulty that he 


98 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

withdrew him from the fight. It was only when Jackson found that 
McClellan was not being driven from his works that he put into the 
battle every man he had. 

General Jackson waited at White Oak Swamp during the battle of 
Frayser's Farm because he was directed to stay on this road until 
further orders. As a soldier he could do nothing else. He gave 
the same unquestioned obedience to the officer above him, that he 
demanded of those under his control. Moreover the stream was 
impassible for infantry under fire, and impassible for artillery without 
a bridge. Jackson and his staff, with Colonel Munford's cavalry, 
tested it, riding across through quagmires that took us up to the 
girths of our horses; but by a fierce artillery attack he kept Frank- 
lin's and part of Sumner's corps from joining with McCall to resist 
the attack at Frayser's Farm. This attack General Jackson began 
with twenty-eight pieces of artillery at twelve o'clock that day. The 
battle at Frayser's Farm began at five o'clock the same afternoon. 
White Oak Swamp road is but five miles distant. If General Lee 
had wanted Jackson he could have sent for him, but General Lee did 
not want him. He expected to defeat McCall, and isolate Franklin 
and Sumner, and then capture them with Jackson's co-operation, 
from the position he knew he occupied. 

Cedar Run battle has been criticised as a barren victory, but while 
it did not accomplish all that Jackson intended, it was far from barren 
in its results. Pope, who had more than double the force of Jack- 
son, was preparing to attack us at Gordonsville and destroy the 
railroad. We remained two weeks at Gordonsville, waiting for Pope 
to make a false move, when, finding that Pope's divisions were 
widely separated — the left wing being at Fredericksburg, and the 
right under Siegel, at Sperryville, fifty miles from the left wing; the 
main army on the Rappahannock — with Banks thrown out to Cul- 
peper Courthouse, Jackson determined to strike them in detail. 

I know this was his purpose and his after report proves it. He 
intended first to attack his old antagonist, Banks, at Culpeper, and 
then to descend like a thunderbolt on McDowell at Fredericksburg. 
On our route we lost an entire day because one of the division com- 
manders marched two miles instead of twenty-five. This gave Pope 
time to concentrate his forces. That night, as we pursued the beaten 
army of General Banks, we captured some of McDowell's men, prov- 
ing that the Federals had had time to concentrate, and this prevented 
him from carrying out his original plan of striking in detail. As it 
was, Banks' army was so crippled as to be "of little use," as Gen- 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 99 

eral Pope reports, " during the rest of that campaign." The pres- 
tige of our troops and commanders was raised, and the Federal 
confidence in Pope diminished. But more than this, and more im- 
portant, Pope's plans were disconcerted and ten days were gained, 
by which time General Lee and the rest of our army joined us. 

The imperturbable coolness of a great commander was pre-emi- 
nently his. He was always calm and self-controlled. He never lost 
his balance for one moment. At the First Manassas, when we 
reached the field and found our men under Bee and Bartow falling 
back — when the confusion was greatest, and Bee in despair cried out, 
"They are driving us back " — there was not the slightest emotion 
apparent about him. His thin lips were compressed and his eyes 
ablaze when he curtly said: " Then, sir, we will give them the bayo- 
net." At Port Republic, where he was so nearly captured, as he 
escaped he instantly ordered the 37th Virginia Regiment, which was 
fortunately near at hand and in line, to charge through the bridge and 
capture the Federal piece of artillery placed at its mouth. 

In the very severe engagement at Chantilly, fought during a heavy 
thunder storm, when the voice of the artillery of heaven could 
scarcely be told from that of the army, an aide came up with a mes- 
sage from A. P. Hill, that his ammunition was wet and that he asked 
leave to retire. ' ' Give my compliments to General Hill, and tell 
him that the Yankee ammunition is as wet as his; to stay where he 
is." There was always danger and blood when he began his terse 
sentences with " Give my compliments." 

One of the most striking illustrations of his courage and absolute 
self-reliance was shown at the battle of Groveton. He had been 
detached from General Lee's army, and in a march of two days 
captured Manassas Junction directly in Pope's rear and destroyed 
the immense stores accumulated at that point. After this he marched 
his command to a field which gave him a good defensive position 
and the readiest means of junction with Longstreet. At that point, 
if he was compelled to retreat, he had the Aldie Gap behind him 
through which he could pass and rejoin General Lee. Pope, disap- 
pointed at not finding Jackson at Manassas, and confused by the 
different movements that different portions of Jackson's corps had 
made, was utterly disconcerted and directed his army to move 
towards Centreville where they could easily join with the forces of 
McCiellan then at Alexandria. Almost any other soldier would 
have been satisfied with what had been already accomplished — the 

100 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

destruction of the immense stores of the enemy — the forcing of 
Pope from the Rappahannock to Bull Run, and the demoralization 
produced in the Federal army, but General Jackson knew that the 
Confederate design demanded that a battle with Pope should be 
made before reinforcements were received from McClellan, and so he 
determined with his little army to attack the Federal forces and com- 
pel them to stop and give battle. 

Our army lay concealed by the railroad cut, the woods and the 
configuration of the ground near the same field that we had fought 
the first battle of Manassas. The different columns of the enemy 
were moving in such a confused way that it was difficult to tell what 
they intended. Gen. Jackson, who had been up the whole of the 
previous night directing the movement of his troops, was asleep in a 
fence corner, when mounted scouts came in to inform us that a large 
body of Pope's army was moving past on the Warrenton road and 
in the direction of Centreville. As soon as he was waked and in- 
formed of the state of affairs, Gen. Jackson sprang up and moved 
rapidly towards his horse, buckling on his sword as he moved and 
urging the greatest speed on all around him, directing Ewell and 
Taliaferro to attack the enemy, which proved to be King's Division. 
With about 20,000 men he attacked Pope's army of 77,000 soldiers, 
so determined was he that Pope should not escape to Centreville, 
there to intrench and wait for the reinforcements of McClellan then 
on their way to him. The attack that evening brought on the bloody 
battle of Groveton. 

I must recur to the battle of Sharpsburg, as that was one of the 
sternest trials to which Jackson was ever subjected. 80,000 Federal 
soldiers under McClellan attacked 35,000 Confederates under Lee, 
making the contest a most unequal one. It was a pitched battle in 
an open field. There were no fortifications or entrenchments, and 
the ground, as far as sites for artillery went, was decidedly more 
favorable for the Federals. To defend the left wing of the Con- 
federate line Jackson had, including D. H. Hill's three brigades, less 
than 8,000 men. In front of him was Hooker with 15,000, Mansfield 
with 10,000, and Sumner with Sedgwick's Division, 6,000 — 8,000 
Confederates to 31,000 veteran Federal soldiers. Hooker, at daylight, 
attacked and was routed. Then Mansfield came over the same 
ground and met the same fate. Then Sumner came up and was 
thrashed. 8,000 half starved, shoeless, ragged Confederates had 
routed 31,000 of McClellan's best soldiers, and in a plain open field 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 101 

without an entrenchment. But the 8,000 Confederates were veterans 
and were commanded by Stonewall Jackson. That night 20,000 
dead and wounded men lay on the field of Sharpsburg. 

About one o'clock that day I rode forward to see the General. I 
found him a little to the left of the Dunkard church. I remember 
that I had my saddle pockets filled with peaches to take to him — 
knowing how much he enjoyed fruit — and was eating a peach when 
I approached him. The first thing he asked me was if I had any 
more. I told him yes, that I had brought him some. After he got 
them he began to eat them ravenously, so much so, that he apolo- 
gized and told me that he had had nothing to eat that day. I told 
him why I had come. That our lines were so thin and the enemy so 
strong, that I was afraid that at some point our line might be broken 
and in the rush, the hospital captured. He was perfectly cool and 
quiet, although he had withstood three separate attacks of vastly 
superior numbers. He thought the enemy had done their worst and 
made me the reply I have already quoted, but he agreed that I 
should establish the hospital in Shepherdstown. Before returning to 
my post, I rode forward with him to see the old Stonewall Division. 
They had been reduced to a very small body of men, and were com- 
manded by Colonel Grigsby. In some places lieutenants commanded 
brigades; sergeants, regiments. Nearly all of his Generals had fallen, 
but he had two left who were hosts in themselves, the unconquerable 
D. H. Hill, and that grand old soldier, Jubal Early. 

While talking to Grigsby I saw off at a distance in a field, men 
lying down, and supposed it was a line of battle. I asked Colonel 
Grigsby why he did not move that line of battle to make it conform 
to his own, when he said: "Those men you see lying over there, 
which you suppose to be a line of battle, are all dead men. They are 
Georgia soldiers." It was a stern struggle, but Jackson always ex- 
pected to hold his lines. I heard him once say: "We sometimes 
fail to drive the enemy from his position. He always fails to drive 
us." But he was never content with the defensive, however suc- 
cessful or however exhausting. In this most destructive battle he 
was looking all of that day for a chance to make the counter-stroke. 
He urged General McLaws, who had been sent to his assistance, to 
move forward and attack the enemy's right flank, but General 
McLaws was so hotly engaged with those directly in front, that he 
never had an opportunity to do what General Jackson desired. 

102 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Other efforts, with the same intent, marked his conduct during all 
that day. 

His tactics were almost always offensive, and by his marvellous 
strategy and skill, by his consummate daring and absolute confi- 
dence in himself and his men, he made up for his deficiency in num- 
bers. When circumstances obliged him to act upon the defensive, 
always at such times he kept in view the counter-stroke. He did 
not wish to fight at Fredericksburg. His objection was, that there 
was no room for this return blow in the daytime, with the enemy's 
guns on Stafford Heights. 

I cannot refrain from speaking of the statement, recently made, 
that General Jackson advised General Lee on the night of the 17th 
September to cross the Potomac back into Virginia. I think it is a 
mistake. He told me at one o'clock that McClellan had done his 
worst. He was looking all the afternoon for a chance to strike the 
enemy, but he never had sufficient force to do it. He agreed with 
General Lee entirely during the whole of this campaign and especi- 
ally during this battle. General Lee writes, in a letter which I have 
recently read, "When he (Jackson) came upon the field — having 
preceded his troops, and learned my reasons for offering battle, he 
emphatically agreed with me. When I determined to withdraw and 
cross the Potomac he also agreed and said, in view of all the circum- 
stances, it was better to have fought the battle in Maryland than to 
have left it without a struggle." I say it with all possible deference 
to a distinguished soldier, and most respected gentleman, but there 
is every indication that General Stephen D. Lee's recollection as to 
Jackson's having proposed to cross the river on the night of the 
17th, is at fault. He says, at the interview he reports, that Long- 
street came first and made his report. Longstreet says in his book 
that he was the last to come. General Lee's letter, above referred 
to, shows the entire concurrence between himself and General Jack- 
son with respect to their movements both before and after the battle. 
That General Jackson should have advised Lee, without being asked, 
to cross the river the night of the 17th, is entirely at variance with 
his character. It was a liberty he certainly never would have per- 
mitted one of his subordinates to take with him. 

As for his care for the lives of his men, the great military critics, 
whose opinions I have quoted, told me that in this especially ap- 
peared the superiority of the Valley Campaign to the Italian Cam- 
paign of Napoleon. While the strategetical combinations were 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 103 

equally rapid and effective, the successes were attained with a pro- 
portion of loss to numbers engaged comparatively small. In the 
whole Valley Campaign his losses did not exceed 2,500 men. His 
care was not only for numbers but for individuals. It was my habit 
to tell him after a battle the whole sad story of the losses as they came 
under my observation. He always waited for this detailed report, 
and when I was delayed he would order that he should be waked up 
when I came in. Presently I shall have occasion to show you how, 
from time to time, he received such news. His commissaries and 
quartermasters know how minutely he looked into all the details of 
their departments. To give only one illustration of his care of his 
soldiers, I remember in our march to the rear of Pope's army, which 
we made without any supply train, he called for two of his officers 
and sent them with a squad of cavalry ahead of his army to tell the 
people he was coming, and to ask them to send some provisions to 
his men. The people responded nobly to this appeal, and brought 
liberal supplies of flour and meat and other things to the troops, and 
Jackson recognized the fact that these officers and the people had 
done good service that day. 

Had he the personal magnetism that characterizes a great com- 
mander? Did he arouse the enthusiasm of his men ? 

What army ever had more unbounded confidence in its general 
than did the army of Jackson, and what general ever trusted and 
depended on his army more than Jackson ? 

Jackson knew the value of the Southern volunteer better and 
sooner (as I believe) than any other of our great leaders. When 
General Johnston took charge at Harper's Ferry, the general staff 
went with the command. One day, when the 2d Virginia Regiment, 
composed of men from my county, marched by, I said to him: " If 
these men of the 2d Virginia will not fight, you have no troops that 
will." He expressed the prevalent, but afterward changed opinion 
of that early day in his reply, saying: " I would not give one com- 
pany of regulars for the whole regiment." When I returned to Gen- 
eral Jackson's staff I had occasion to quote to him General Johnston's 
opinion. "Did he say that," he asked, "and of those splendid 
men ? ' ' And then he added : ' ' The patriotic volunteer, fighting for 
country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth." 

Was the confidence returned? When, at sight of him, the battle 
shout of fighting thousands shook the far heavens, who could doubt 
its meaning! Did his men love him ? What need of proof or illus- 

104 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

stration! Do we not feel it to-day in every throb of our hearts, 
though the long- years have rolled away, though three and one-half 
decades have done their sad work of effacement ? 

I would like to show you Jackson as a man, for I think that only 
those who were near him knew him, and to them the picture of him 
as a man with the heart of a man, is nobler, his memory as a true 
Christian gentleman is dearer, and he himself is greater — than even 
he seemed as a soldier. 

Under the grave and generally serious manner, sometimes almost 
stern, there were strong human passions, dominated by his iron will 
— there was intense earthly ambition. The first time I was under 
fire, the attempt to diagnose my feelings did not discover anything 
that I recognized as positive enjoyment. I was not clearly and un- 
mistakably conscious of that feeling until after I got out of it. I 
told General Jackson frankly what my feelings were, and asked him 
how he felt the first time he experienced it. Just a glimpse of his 
inner nature flashed forth in a most unusual expression. "Afraid 
the fire would not be hot enough for me to distinguish myself," he 
promptly replied. 

There was in this great soldier a deep love for all that is true, for 
the beautiful, for the poetry of life, and a wealth of rich and quick 
imagination for which few would give him credit. Ambition! Yes, 
far beyond what ordinary men possess. And yet, he told me when 
talking in my tent one dreary winter night near Charlestown, that he 
would not exchange one moment of his life hereafter, for all the 
earthly glory he could win. I would not tell these things except 
that it is good for you and your children that you should know what 
manner of man Stonewall Jackson was. 

His view of war and its necessities was of the sternest. "War 
means fighting; to fight is the duty of a soldier; march swiftly, strike 
the foe with all your strength, and take away from him everything 
you can. Injure him in every possible way, and do it quickly." He 
talked to me several times about the " Black Flag," and wondered 
if in the end it would not result in less suffering and loss of life, but 
he never advocated it. 

A sad incident of the battle of Fredericksburg stirred him very 
deeply. As we stood that night at our camp waiting for some one to 
take our horses, he looked up at the sky for a moment and said: 
"How horrible is war." I replied "Yes, horrible, but what can 
we do ? These people at the North, without any warrant of law, 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 105 

have invaded our country, stolen our property, insulted our defence- 
less women, hung and imprisoned our helpless old men, behaved in 
many cases like an organized band of cut-throats and robbers. 
What can we do ? " " Do," he answered, and his voice was ring- 
ing, " Do, why shoot them." 

At Port Republic, an officer commanding a regiment of Federal 
soldiers and riding a snow white horse was very conspicuous for his 
gallantry. He frequently exposed himself to the fire of our men in 
the most reckless way. So splendid was this man's courage that 
General Ewell, one of the most chivalrous gentlemen I ever knew, 
at some risk to his own life, rode down our line and called to his 
men not to shoot the man on the white horse. After a little while, 
however, the officer and his white horse went down. A day or so 
after when General Jackson learned of the incident he sent for Gen- 
eral Ewell and told him not to do such a thing again; that this was 
no ordinary war, and the brave and gallant Federal officers were the 
very kind that must be killed.* 

*The incident, it would appear, was reported to Dr. McGuire with some- 
thing of misinformation. The point he makes as to General Jackson how- 
ever is unaffected. 

A most estimable citizen of Richmond, Va., Colonel Edwin L. Hobson 
(late colonel of the 5th Alabama Infantry, and who, at the surrender at Appo- 
mattox Courthouse, was in command of Battle's Brigade), has given a dif- 
ferent version to the editor. Its correctness is manifest, and will, it cannot be 
doubted, be gladly accepted by Dr. McGuire: 

"The occurrence was at the battle of South Mountain, September 14, 1862. 
Colonel, then Major, Hobson was in command of the 5th Alabama, Rodes' 
Brigade. Colonel John B. Gordon had been placed by General D. H. Hill, 
the division commander, to prevent a flank movement by the enemy. The 
enemy was steadily advancing on the line of Rodes, and at the distance of 
100 yards menaced a charge. An officer, mounted on a white horse in front, 
was impetuously urging them onward. 

"The potent incitation was manifest to Major Hobson, and in the crisis, 
he felt the necessity of removing the officer. He at once selected skilled 
riflemen to 'pick him off.' This was unerringly done, and at his fall the 
enemy hesitated, were checked, and the fortunes of the day changed. 

"Subsequently, and not long before the battle of Sharpsburg (some com- 
ment having been made on the sacrifice of the gallant officer), states Colo- 
nel Hobson, an officer from General Jackson came to him with the ' compli- 
ments of General Jackson' and the message: 'Tell Major Hobson I want 
the brave officers of the enemy killed off. Their death insures our success. 
Cowards are never in the front; they skulk or flee! ' " 

106 Southern Historical Society Payers. . 

His temper, though capable of being stirred to profoundest depths, 
was singularly even. When most provoked he showed no great 
excitement. When the Secretary of War treated him so discour- 
teously that Jackson resigned his commission, he showed no great 
resentment or indignation. He was the only man in the army who 
was not mad and excited. Two days after Malvern Hill, when his 
staff did not get up in the morning as soon as he had ordered them 
to do, he quietly ordered his servant, Jim, to pour the coffee into 
the road and to put the mess chest back into the wagon and send the 
wagon off with the train, and Jim did it; but he showed no temper, 
and several days after when I described the ludicrous indignation of 
one of his staff at missing his breakfast that day, he laughed heartily 
over the incident, for he often showed a keen sense of humor; and 
when he laughed (as I often saw him do) he did it with his whole 
heart. He would catch one knee with both hands, lift it up, throw 
his body back, open wide his mouth, and his whole face and form be 
convulsed with mirth — but there was no sound. 

His consideration for his men was very great, and he often visited 
the hospital with me and spoke some words of encouragement to his 
soldiers. The day after the fight at Kernstown as we were prepar- 
ing to move further up the valley, as the enemy was threatening to 
attack us, I said to him: "I have not been able to move all our 
wounded." And he replied: "Very well, I will stay here until you 
do move them." I have seen him stop while his army was on the 
march to help a poor simple .woman find her son, when she only 
knew that this son was in "Jackson's Company." He first found 
out the name of her county, then the companies from that county, 
and by sending couriers to each company, he at last found the boy 
and brought him to his mother. 

And never can I forget his kindness and gentleness to me when I 
was in great sorrow and trouble. He came to my tent and spent 
hours with me, comforting me in his simple, kindly, Christian way, 
showing a depth of friendship and affection which can never be for- 
gotten. There is no measuring the intensity with which the very 
soul of Jackson burned in battle. Out of it he was very gentle. 
Indeed, as I look back on the two years that I was daily, indeed 
hourly, with him, his gentleness as a man, his great kindness, his 
tenderness to those in trouble or affliction — the tenderness indeed of 
a woman — impress me more than his wonderful prowess as a great 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 107 

A short time before the battle of the Second Manassas, there came 
from this town to join the Liberty Hall Volunteers a fine lad, whose 
parents, living here, were dear friends of General Jackson. The 
general asked him to stop at his headquarters for a few days before 
joining his company, and he slept and messed with us. We all be- 
came much attached to the young fellow, and Jackson, in his gentle, 
winning way, did his best to make him feel at home and at his ease; 
the lad's manners were so gentle, kindly and diffident, and his beard- 
less, blue-eyed, boyish face so manly and so handsome. Just before 
the battle he reported for duty with his company. The night of the 
day of the great battle I was telling the general of the wounded, as 
we stood over a fire where black Jim, his servant, was making some 
coffee. I mentioned many of the wounded and their condition, and 
presently, calling by name the lad we all loved, told him that he was 
mortally wounded. Jim, faithful, brave, big-hearted Jim, God bless 
his memory! rolled on the ground, groaning in his agony of grief; 
but the general's face was a study. The muscles were twitching con- 
vulsively and his eyes were all aglow. He gripped me by the shoul- 
der till it hurt me, and in a savage, threatening manner asked why I 
left the boy. In a few seconds he recovered himself, and turned and 
walked off into the woods alone. He soon came back, however, 
and I continued my report of the wounded and the dead. We were 
still sitting by the fire, drinking the coffee out of our tin cups, when 
I said: " We have won this battle by the hardest kind of fighting." 
And he answered me very gently and softly: " No, no; we have won 
it by the blessing of Almighty God." 

When General Gregg, of South Carolina, was wounded at Fred- 
ericksburg, an interesting incident occurred. General Jackson had 
had some misunderstanding with Gregg, the nature of which I do 
not now recall. The night after this gallant gentleman and splendid 
soldier was mortally wounded, I told General Jackson, as I generally 
did of friends or prominent men killed and wounded. General 
Gregg was one of the most courteous and gallant gentlemen that I 
had ever known. He exposed himself that day in a way that seemed 
unneccessary, so much so indeed, that Colonel Pendleton, of Jack- 
son's staff, rode up to him and, knowing he was quite deaf, shouted 
to him that the Yankees were shooting at him. " Yes, sir, thank 
you," he replied, "they have been doing so all day." When I told 
General Jackson that Gregg was badly injured, he said: "I wish 
you would go back and see him, I want you to see him." I de- 

108 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

murred a little, saying it had not been very long since I had seen 
him, and that there was nothing more to be done for him. He said: 
" I wish you to go back and see him and tell him I sent you." So 
I rode back to the Yerby House, saw General Gregg and gave him 
the message. When I left his bedside and had gotten into the hall 
of the house, I met General Jackson, who must have ridden close 
behind me to have arrived there so soon. He stopped me, asked 
about General Gregg, and went into the room to see him. 

No one else was in the room, and what passed between the two 
officers will never be known. I waited for him and rode back to 
camp with him. Not a word was spoken on that ride by either of 
us. After we reached the camp, occurred the brief conversation I 
have quoted, as to the horrors of war. 


A very remarkable illustration of Jackson's religious liberality was 
shown just before the battle of Chancellorsville. We had been 
ordered to send to the rear all surplus baggage, and to illustrate how 
rigidly this was done — only one tent, and that a small one, was 
allowed for the headquarters of the corps. It was intended to make 
the campaign of 1863 a very active one. "We must make this 
campaign," said Jackson, "an exceedingly active one. Only thus 
can a weaker country cope with a stronger. It must make up in 
activity what it lacks in strength, and a defensive campaign can only 
be made successful by taking the aggressive at the proper time. 
Don't wait for the adversary to become fully prepared, but strike him 
the first blow." When all the tents, among other surplus baggage, 
were taken away, a Roman Catholic priest of one of the Louisiana 
regiments sent in his resignation because he could not perform the 
duties of his office without the privacy of a tent. Jackson asked 

me about Father ; I told him he was one of the most useful 

men in time of battle that we had; that I would miss his services 
very much. He ordered that this Roman Catholic priest should 
retain his tent, and he was the only man in the corps who had that 

We now approach the close of Jackson's career. Wonderful 
career! Wonderful in many respects, and to some minds more won- 
derful in that it took him only two years to make his place in his- 
tory. Caesar spent eight years in his first series of victories, and 
some two years more in filling out the measure of his great reputa- 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 109 

tion. Napoleon, teaching the lesson of indifference to danger to 
the boys he gathered around him, after the fatal Russian campaign, 
said: "The cannon balls have been flying around our legs for 
twenty years. ' ' Hannibal's career occupied about fifteen years. No 
other great commander in the world's history has in so short a time 
won so great a fame as Jackson. Two years, crowded with weighty 
deeds, now draw to a close, and Chancellorsville witnesses, perhaps, 
the most important single incident of his life as a soldier. The whole 
story has been too often told. Hooker, in command of what was 
called by the North, " the finest army on the planet," crossed the 
Rappahannock and marched to Chancellorsville. He had 123,000 
soldiers, Lee less than 58,000. Notwithstanding, Hooker was 
frightened at his own temerity in coming within striking distance of 
Lee and Jackson, and he at once set his whole army to work to 
throw up entrenchments and make abatis of the most formidable 
character. Lee and Jackson had to meet the present difficulty with- 
out the aid of a large portion of their army, absent with Longstreet. 
Lee and Jackson ! How well I remember their meeting before this 
battle, and their confiding conference! How these two men loved 
and trusted each other! Where in all history shall we find a parallel 
to their mutual faith and love and confidence ? I can find none. 
Said Jackson: "Lee is a phenomenon. I would follow him blind- 

And Lee said to an aide de camp of Jackson's, who reported that 
Hooker had crossed the river, " Go back and tell General Jackson 
that he knows as well as I what to do." After they arrived in front 
of Hooker our movements are described in a hitherto unpublished 
letter of General Lee's. That great commander, after saying that 
he decided not to attack in front, writes as follows: "I stated to 
General Jackson that we must attack on our left as soon as practica- 
ble," and he adds, "in consequence of a report from General Fitz. 
Lee, describing the position of the Federal army and the roads 
which he held with his cavalry leading to its rear, General Jackson, 
after some inquiry concerning the roads leading to the Furnace, 
undertook to throw his command entirely in Hooker's rear, which 
he accomplished with equal skill and boldness." General Jackson 
believed the fighting qualities of the Army of Northern Virginia 
equal to the task of ending the war. During the winter preceding 
Chancellorsville, in the course of a conversation at Moss Neck, he 
said: " We must do more than defeat their armies; we must des- 

110 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

troy them." He went into this campaign filled with this stern pur- 
pose; ready to stretch to the utmost every energy of his genius, and 
push to its limit all his faith in his men in order to destroy a great 
army of the enemy. I know that this was his purpose, for after the 
battle, when still well enough to talk he told me that he had in- 
tended, after breaking into Hooker's rear, to take and fortify a suit- 
able position, cutting him off from the river and so hold him, until 
between himself and General Lee the great Federal host should be 
broken to pieces. He had no fear. It was then that I heard him 
say : ' ' We sometimes fail to drive them from position ; they always 
fail to drive us. ' ' 

Never can I forget the eagerness and intensity of Jackson on that 
march to Hooker's rear. His face was pale, his eyes flashing. Out 
from his thin, compressed lips came the terse command: "Press 
forward, press forward." In his eagerness, as he rode, he leaned 
over on the neck of his horse as if in that way the march might be 
hurried. " See that the column is kept closed and that there is no 
straggling," he more than once ordered, and " Press on, press on," 
was repeated again and again. Every man in the ranks knew that 
we were engaged in some great flank movement, and they eagerly re- 
sponded and pressed on at a rapid gait. Fitz Lee met us and told 
Jackson he could show him the whole of Hooker's army if he went with 
him to the top of a hill near by. They went together and Jackson 
carefully inspected' through his glasses the Federal command. He 
was so wrapped up in his plans, that on his return he passed Fitz 
Lee without saluting or even thanking him, and when he reached 
the column, he ordered one aide to go forward and tell General 
Rodes, who was in the lead, to cross the Plank Road and go 
straight on to the Turnpike, and another aide to go to the rear of the 
column and see that it was kept closed up, and all along the line he 
repeatedly said: " Press on; press right on." 

The fiercest energy possessed the man, and the fire of battle fell 
strong upon him. When he arrived at the Plank Road he sent this, 
his last message, to Lee: 

"The enemy has made a stand at Chancellorsville. I hope as 
soon as practicable to attack. I trust that an ever kind Providence 
will bless us with success." 

And as this message went to Lee, there was flashing along the 
wires, giving brief joy to the Federal Capital, Hooker's message: 
" The enemy must either ingloriously fly, or come out from behind 

Career and Character of General T. J. Jackson. 


his defences and give us battle on our own ground, where certain 
destruction awaits him." 

Contrast the two, Jackson's modest, confident, hopeful, relying 
on his cause and his God. Hooker's frightened, boastful, arrogant, 
vain-glorious. The two messages are characteristic of the two men 
and the two people. 

But this battle has been so often described in its minutest detail 
that I forbear to tax your patience. I forbear for another reason. 
While I can write about it, I cannot speak of it to old soldiers with- 
out more emotion than I care to show. The result of that great 
>attle the wide world knows. Except for the unsurpassed, the won- 
lerful campaign of 1864, this is perhaps the finest illustration of 
General Lee's genius for war, and yet, in writing to Jackson he 
>ays: "I have just received your note informing me that you are 
wounded. I cannot express my regret at its occurrence. Could I 
Lave directed events, I would have chosen, for the good of the 
:ountry, to have been disabled in your stead. I congratulate you on 
the victory, which is due to your skill and energy." 

See the noble spirit of our great commander! Not further re- 
moved is pole from pole than is any mean jealousy, or thought 
of self, in his great soul. He at heart obeyed the hard command 
:hat " In honor ye prefer one another." This note displays his 
Teatness, yet it is also history, in that we know on his testimony 
:hat Jackson shared with him the glory of that battle. These great 
soldiers loved and trusted one another, and in death they are not 
livided. How sacred is the soil of Lexington! for here they rest 
side by side. 

The story of Jackson's death is so familiar to you all that, though 
intimately associated with its scenes, I will not narrate it. I will only 
leclare that he met this great enemy as he had met all others, calmly 
ind steadily, expecting, as always, to conquer, but now trusting, not in 
his own strength — not as heretofore in the prowess of mortal arms, 
nor in the splendid fibre of mortal courage, but in the unseen strength 
ipon which he always relied — the strength that never failed him — 
and so, foreseeing the rest that awaited him on the other side, he 
crossed over the river. 

" My hand is on my mouth and my mouth is in the dust." 
Already I have told you much that you already knew. In this, 
I beg you to observe, I have but fulfilled my promise. My apology is 
that we are in Lexington, and' that we stand by the grave of Jackson. 

112 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Under such circumstances, love does not seek new stories to tell, 
new incidents to relate. Just to its own heart or to some sympathiz- 
ing ear, it goes over the old scenes, recalls the old memories, ten- 
derly dwells upon and tells them over and over again. Says farewell, 
and comes back again and stands silent in the presence of the dead. 
And so, I finish what I had to say, and bid farewell to Stonewall Jack- 
son. And yet, all is not said, for here in Lexington, even in the 
presence of his mighty shade, our hearts bow down and we are awed 
by another presence, for the towering form beside him is that of 
Robert Lee. 

Thought and feeling and power of expression are paralyzed. I 
cannot help you now with words, to tell all that is in your hearts. 

Time fails, and I trust to your memories to recall a group more 
familiar, in whose presence perhaps we would not be so oppressed, 
and yet a list of names that ought to be dear to Lexington. I think 
that in the wide, wide world no town of equal size has had so long a 
list of glorious dead; so many around whose memories a halo of 
glory gathers. Reverently I salute them all. 

And so I leave the grave of my general and my friend, knowing 
that for centuries men will come to Lexington as a Mecca, and to 
this grave as a Shrine, and wonderingly talk of this man and his 
mighty deeds. I know that time will only add to his great fame. I 
know that his name will be honored and revered forever, just as I 
know that the beautiful river, flowing near by, will sing an unceasing 
requiem to his memory — -just as I know that the proud mountains, 
like some vast chain of sentinels, will keep eternal watch over his 
honored grave. 

The Richmond Ambulance Corps. 113 

[From the Richmond (Va.) Dispatch, Dec. 12, 1897.] 


List of Members of This Useful Organization for 1861-1865. 

When the late war first broke out a number of Richmond's well- 
known citizens formed themselves into a committee and charged 
themselves with the duty of supplying the needs of the Confederate 
wounded. Their services in this respect are still gratefully remem- 
bered by many a surviving Confederate veteran who received the 
benefit of their unstinted and kindly ministrations in time of dire 
distress. The committee, which was limited to about fifty members, 
was composed for the most part of citizens exempt from military 
duty. Afterward, as the exigency of the war period demanded, 
many of them went into active service, while others not only fur- 
nished substitutes, but continued their membership in the committee 
till the end came on that fatal 9th of April, 1865. at Appomattox 

Nearly the first thing done when the committee organized was to 
form its members into a military company, to serve in case of emer- 
gency, of which John Dooley was chosen captain; Philip J. Wright, 
first lieutenant, and John J. Wilson, second lieutenant. The ser- 
vices of the committee extended through the battles of Gettysburg, 
Sharpsburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, the seven days' fights 
around Richmond, including Seven Pines, Mechanicsville, Cold Har- 
bor, Malvern Hill, Frayser's Farm, and, in fact, most of the engage- 
ments in which the Army of Northern Virginia participated. The 
committee served without pay, and was always ready to buy for the 
wounded, with their own funds, any delicacy that could not other- 
wise be procured for the use of the objects of their solicitude. But 
a few, comparatively, survive the lapse of years intervening since 
the great contest ended. Appended is a partial list, so far as can be 
recalled, of this famous and useful organization. Those who live 
deserve, as they receive, the gratitude of all surviving veterans, 
while the good deeds of those passed away are wreathed in memory 
that blooms sweetly and blossoms in the dust: 


Southern Historical Society Papers. 


Apperson, James L. 
Archer, Robert S. 
Ainslie, George A. 
Allen, Charles W. 
Burrows, Rev. J. L. 
Burress, James E'. 
Beville, Wm. J. 
Bates, Charles 
Barney, Dr. C. G. 
Bailey, Samuel M. 
Cabell, Dr. J. G. 
Dooley, John 
Dudley, Thomas U. 
Doswell, Thomas W. 
Dibrell, R. H. 
Enders, John 
Exall, Henry 
Ellett, Andrew L. 
Eacho, Edward D. 
Edmond, Robert 
Ellyson, Moses 
Frayser, Lewis H. 
Glazebrook, L. W. 
Gatewood, Robert 
Goddin, Wellington 
Hobson, Julius A. 
Hackett, James H. 
Harrison, Samuel J. 
Harvey, John B. 
Isaacs, Wm. B. 
Jinkins, Andrew 
James, Edwin T. 
Johnston, Andrew 
Lyons, William H. 
Leftwich, John H. 
McCance, Thomas W. 
McKeil, John W. 

Martin, Jordan H. 
Meredith, R. L. 
Mitchell, John (Irish patriot). 
Maury, Robert H. 
Montague, John H. 
Purcell, John 
Perkins, E. T. 
Paine, Robert A. 
Palmer, George S. 
Peachy, Dr. St. G. 
Quarles, Benj. M. 
Randolph, Joseph W. 
Richardson, R. P. 
Royster, George W. 
Spence, E. B. 
Starke, P. H. 
Starke, Marcellus T. 
Sutton, William M. 
Snead, William W. 
Staples, W. T. 
Smith, George W. 
Smith, Samuel B. 
Scott, James A. 
Tucker, John R. 
Tyndall, Mark A. 
Valentine, Mann S. 
Wright, Philip J. 
Wells, Alex. B. 
Wilson, Edward 
Wilson, John J. 
Worthan, C. T. 
Wortham, C. E. 
Weisiger, Powhatan 
Whitlock, Chas. E. 
Whitlock, John E. 
Wynne, Chas. H. 
Walker, Isaac H. 

■ The Richmond Ambulance Corps. 115 


Dr. W. A Carrington, Dr. J. E. Claggett, Dr. James Cammack, 
Thomas Clemmitt, Harvie A. Dudley, James H. Grant, George W. 
Lowndes, Colonel Robert Ould, and J. A. Cowardin, of the Dis- 


The officers of the committee were: John Enders, President; Wil- 
liam G. Paine, Vice-President; Isaac H. Walker, Secretary; and 
Surgeons, Drs. Cabell and Peachy. 


Of those now living may be mentioned: Messrs. R. S. Archer, 
John Enders, Andrew L. Ellett, Samuel J. Harrison, Jordan H. 
Martin, John H. Montague, Powhatan Weisiger, and Philip J. 

The propriety of recognizing the services of these gentlemen in 
some suitable way will, there is little doubt, be called to the atten- 
tion of Lee Camp of Confederate Veterans at some early day. 



Although not members of the organization, there were several of 
our old citizens who had sons in the army, who went to nearly every 
battlefield with the corps, and rendered valuable assistance to the 
wounded, among whom was the veteran, Charles G. Thompson, who 
is still living at a ripe old age. 

116 Southern Historical Society Papers. ■ 

[From the Sunday News, Charleston, S. C, February 3, 1895.] 


The Terror of the Arctic Seas Captured Thirty-Eight 

Whalers, and Destroyed Shipping Valued at 

Nearly $7,000,000. 

A Graphic Account of the Cruise of the Great Commerce Destroyer, 

from the Time of her Fitting out near Funchal, Madeira, October, 

1864, to her Surrender to the British at Liverpool, 

November, 1865. 

By Lieutenant JOHN GRIMBALL, C. S. Navy. 

With a Summary Afforded by the Naval Records 
Office at Washington. 

On the 6th October, 1864, the Confederate steamer Florida was 
captured at Bahia, a neutral port, in violation of an agreement which, 
to all intents and purposes, amounted to a flag of truce. This loss 
of the Florida, not known to us for weeks after, left the Confederacy 
without a cruiser afloat; but on the 7th, the very next day, the Sea 
King sailed from London to assume her place on the high seas, as 
the Confederate steamer Shenandoah, with instructions to visit the 
whaling grounds and destroy the American whaling fleets. These 
vessels were owned principally in the New England States, and at 
one time had been a source of great revenue and at all times an ele- 
ment of much pride to that section of country. The officers were 
brave and experienced men, exceptionally good sailors and naviga- 
tors, and they carried their ships without hesitation anywhere and 
everywhere in pursuit of their game, and often as fast as they filled 
up with oil the cargo would be transferred to an empty ship and sent 
home, and then the hunt would be resumed by the same ship, and 
so on for years. 

From London, the Sea King went direct to Funchal, Madeira, 
where her purchase was to be completed by her transfer to the Con- 
federate government. There she signalled the steamer Laurel, at 
anchor in the harbor, waiting with officers and munitions of war, she 
having arrived two days before from Liverpool. The Laurel was a 

Career of the Shenandoah. 117 

blockade runner, commanded by Captain Ramsey, a young English- 
man of energy and resources. 

capt. ramsey's brilliant ruse. 

When the authorities at Funchal objected to our presence in the 
harbor, and seriously and persistently insisted that the Laurel should 
proceed at once to sea, Ramsey was ready with a broken piece of 
machinery, without which he insisted that his engines could not be 
made to move. The delicate and tedious work of repair was en- 
trusted by the authorities to their own workmen on shore, so anxious 
were they to get rid of us. While they were still hammering away 
the Sea King arrived and signalled, and the Laurel steamed out to 
join her. 

Not far from Madeira, and of the same group, is the Desertas, and 
under the lee of that uninhabited rock both vessels anchored, and all 
guns, supplies, etc., were transferred from the Laurel to the Sea 
King; whereupon the first entry in the log of the Shenandoah was 
made as follows: 

"At Sea, October 19, 1864. 

■ ' Having received everything from the steamer Laurel at sea, put 
ship in commission as Confederate States steamer Shenandoah, and 
shipped twenty-three men, as petty officers, seamen, firemen and 
coal heavers. Weighed anchor at 2 P. M., and at 6 o'clock parted 
company with the Laurel, when we hoisted the Confederate ensign 
for the first time. At 6.15 stood under steam to the southward and 
westward. Pleasant weather, with heavy swell from northward. 
Wind northeast. Irvine S. Bulloch." 


We were now the only Confederate cruiser afloat, and as we con- 
tinued our course around the world, passing from ocean to ocean, 
meeting in turn ships of various nationalities, I always felt that when- 
ever our nationality was known to neutral ships the greetings we re- 
ceived rarely warmed up beyond that of a more or less interested 
curiosity, and while we had many friends ashore who were most 
lavish and generous in welcoming us to port, underlying it all there 
appeared to exist a wish of the authorities to have us " move on." 
And yet the right of self government, as I understood it, was the 
only principle involved in that war. The issue was not the libera- 
tion of the slaves, but the enforcement of a union, and only when 

118 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

the South proceeded to withdraw, and when the North insisted upon 
blocking the way, did the parties come to blows. In regard to 
slavery, which was merely incidental to the struggle, Mr. Lincoln, 
in his inaugural in 1861, pointedly said: "I have no purpose, 
directly or indirectly, to interfere with slavery in the States where it 
exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so." And when on 
January 1, 1863, he issued his emancipation proclamation it was 
nothing more than a war measure, or, as he called it in the procla- 
mation, a " military necessity," and the sentimentality we hear of 
now about the "apostle of freedom " and "striking off shackles 
with the stroke of a pen," etc., came afterwards. The North freed 
the slave not from sympathy for the slave, but as a military move to 
weaken and conquer the South. 


We spent most of our time at sea under sail. Melbourne, Aus- 
tralia, was really the only port at which the ship made a stay of any 
length. At the island of Tristan da Chuna, in the South Atlantic, 
she laid off long enough to land some prisoners, and at Ascension 
Island, in the Pacific, we only went into the harbor to burn four 
whalers at anchor, in fact we were constantly cruising. After leav- 
ing Ascension on the 13th April, 1865, the Shenaridoah did not 
anchor until she reached' Liverpool on the 6th November, nearly 
seven months after, and in that time while running from Behring 
Straits, in the North Pacific, around Cape Horn to Tuskar light on 
the coast of Ireland, we were four months out of sight of land. 


The LaureV s crew was intentionally much larger than she needed. 
It was expected that a number of them, and also most of the crew 
of the Sea King, would ship on the Shenandoah, but at the last mo- 
ment, when about to part company, most of them declined to go 
with us. Under ordinary circumstances we might have appreciated 
the gravity of the situation of being left with a ship at sea without a 
crew, but the temper of the officers at that time would hardly have 
admitted of any delay. A fair complement for the Shenandoah was 
a crew of about one hundred and ten men, but in addition to the 
officers, only twenty-three men joined us, not quite twenty-five per 
cent, of what was needed. In time, however, the crew was increased 
by shipments from the prizes. 

Career of the Shenandoah. 119 

the "Shenandoah's" officers. 

Lieut. James J. Waddell, of North Carolina, commanded her, with 
Lieuts. W. C. Whittle, Virginia; John Grimball, South Carolina; 
Sidney S. Lee, Virginia; F. T. Chew, Missouri; D. M. Scales, Mis- 
sissippi; Surgeon, Charles E. Lining, South Carolina; Master, Irvine 
S. Bulloch, Georgia; Paymaster, W. B. Smith, Louisiana; Assistant 
Surgeon, T. J. McNulty, Maryland; Passed Midshipmen, O. A. 
Browne and J. T. Mason, both of Virginia, and Chief Engineer, M. 
O'Brien, Louisiana; and three Master's Mates, three Assistant En- 
gineers, and four Forward Officers. With a few exceptions, the 
officers had been in the United States navy, from which they had re- 
signed as their respective States seceded. 

As soon as we cut adrift from the Laurel the officers and men 
turned in together and worked side by side to get things straight, for 
the guns, supplies, etc., had been to some extent dumped upon our 
decks. But with such working material it was not many days before 
the guns were mounted, port holes cut, magazine built and ammu- 
nition stored — and order took the place of confusion. 


The Shenandoah had been a merchantman at one time engaged in 
the East India trade. She was a full-rigged ship, 220 feet long, 
thirty-five feet beam, with iron masts and lower yards. She carried 
royal studding sails, and was rigged with patent reefing topsails (that 
is, you reefed the sail by lowering the yard), and her standing rig- 
ging was of wire. Her engines were small, and only intended to 
assist in case of calm. When not in use, her propeller could be 
hoisted out of the water and her smokestack lowered like a telescope 
flush with the deck. Under favorable circumstances, she could steam 
ten knots and sail sixteen. Her armament consisted of eight broad- 
side guns, namely: four eight-inch shell guns, two thirty-two pound 
Whitworth and two twelve-pounders. 


We captured our first prize on the 30th of October. She was the 
bark Alina, loaded with railroad iron, bound for Buenos Ayres. It 
was her first voyage. The estimated value of the ship and cargo 
was $95,000. As all ports were closed against our prizes, we scuttled 
this one, and any grief or regret at seeing a new ship, complete in 
all of its appointments, suddenly sent to the bottom while on a peace- 

120 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

ml voyage, was suppressed by the thought that it was only one of 
the many hardships of war. 


We disposed of the crew of the Alina as we did the crews of all 
other prizes. As soon as the vessel was condemned, they were 
brought, with their chests and bags of clothes, on board the Shenan- 
doah. The men and subordinate officers were put in irons; the cap- 
tain on his parole. In the event of there being any women, they 
occupied a separate apartment, a part of our captain's cabin. The 
prize captain, with his female attachments, messed with the commis- 
sioned officers aft; all others forward. 

As fast as we became loaded up with prisoners, they were either 
landed or transferred to some prize, which would be released upon 
giving bond to pay the Confederate government its estimated value 
a certain number of days after peace, or they would be transferred 
to any passing neutral ship who, for a consideration, agreed to take 
them as passengers. 


I can recall no instance in which we met with any decided resist- 
ance; the officers of the captured vessels readily accepted the situa- 
tion, and seemed anxious to give as little trouble as possible. 
Possibly they really thought — as one of them expressed it — that 
there were too many ships in the whaling fleet to thrive; that they 
needed thinning out. On one of the ships taken at the same time 
with several others the boarding officers found her Captain dressed 
in his Sunday clothes, grip-sack in hand. He had seen a prize on 
fire and, having taken the whole thing in at a glance, was quite ready 
with his crew to submit to the inevitable without any unnecessary 


Often in getting a prize ready to be fired those of her crew who 
happened to be still on board of her appeared to take pleasure in 
knocking down bulkheads to insure a good draught, and in collect- 
ing and preparing the most combustible materials for a first-class fire. 
There seemed to be no very great attachment for any particular flag; 
in most cases, soon after coming on board, whenever we wanted 
them they shipped with us, and served under our flag obediently to 
the very end. 

Career of the Shenandoah. 121 

prisoners' money not interfered with. 

The amount of money belonging to the prizes was very small, pos- 
sibly a few hundred dollars. The private funds of the prisoners were 
not interfered with. Most of the ships' cash had probably been con- 
verted into "trading stock," as being a much better circulating 
medium among the Esquimaux, the Fijians, and other tribes usually 
visited by whalers. A gallon of whiskey or a yellow handkerchief 
went much farther in purchasing the skin of a seal or fox than any 
amount of gold or silver. 

The capture of the Ali?ia was followed by that of several other 
vessels in rapid succession. Nearly every sail sighted, with her long 
sky poles and white cotton canvas, betrayed her American nationality 
before she ever hoisted her colors. 

On the 4th of December we burned the bark Edward. She was 
at the time engaged in cutting up a whale. After landing her crew 
on one of the Tristan da Chuna Islands, about 1,500 miles west of 
Cape Town, we ran down to about 42 south latitude to strike the 
westerly winds, which could be increased or decreased in force by 
either increasing or decreasing our latitude, the prevailing winds in 
those latitudes being strong and from the west. 


At Christmas, 1864, we had rounded Cape Hood Hope and were 

nearly due south of the Island of Madagascar, when the Shena?idoah 

was put upon her mettle in a very heavy gale. I find the following 

entry in the log on that day: 

" From 4 to 8 A. M. fresh gales from the southwest; very heavy 

sea running; shipped several seas; 5:20 wind increasing, close-reefed 

main topsail; 5:30 battened down hatches. 

Signed, D. M. Scales." 

Which meant a state of utter discomfort — no fires, nothing cooked. 
This gale appears to have commenced on the 24th, and lasted to 
some part of the 26th of December. 

a skipper's plucky wife. 

On the 29th we captured the bark Delphine, from Bangor. The 
captain had his wife on board, and there was so much sea on that we 
had to hoist her over the side. She was a woman of some culture, 

122 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

attractive in appearance and very decided. Probably if she had 
been in command the Delphine would have escaped — she said so. 
There was a stiff breeze blowing and I think the Delpine was the 
faster ship. As it was she declined to respond to the conventional 
blank cartridge and only luffed up when a shot from one of our 
Whitworths passed between her fore and mainmast. 


In the Indian Ocean, about three thousand miles due south of the 
Island of Ceylon, by themselves, are the islands of Amsterdam and 
St. Paul's. We sighted St. Paul's on the 2d of January. A boat 
with some of the officers made an excursion ashore. It returned 
with a quantity of fish caught in a very short time, also a penguin, 
a curiosity at close quarters, to most of us. This was the only land 
we had seen since leaving Tristan da Chuna on the 4th of December. 
The harbor reminds one of the crater of a sunken volcano. It was 
a desolate looking place, occupied by three Frenchmen. It seemed 
so far away from everywhere. The effect was oppressive. It was a 
relief when the boat was hoisted and the ship filled away on her 


In about three weeks we came to anchor in the harbor of Mel- 
bourne, Australia. Our machinery needed repairs and the supply 
of coal was low. While at this port, party feeling about our war ran 
up to fever heat. Captain Waddell received a number of anony- 
mous letters threatening the safety of the ship, and other letters 
warning him to be on the lookout for torpedoes, etc. Many of our 
crew deserted, and great inducements were offered for all of them to 
do so. However, we were not at all embarrassed by this, for about 
forty " stowaways " appeared on deck when we got to sea and more 
than made up for our losses. At one time things looked very squally, 
as if the end had come then and there. While in the dry dock, the 
government insisted upon searching the ship, it having been reported 
that we had increased our crew by the shipment of men since our 
arrival (which was untrue), and when the permission to search was 
refused, all work was suspended, leaving us with our machinery in 
pieces, high and dry in the dock. Captain Waddell at once in- 
formed the government that unless we were permitted to complete 
our repairs, he would abandon his ship to them and take his officers 

Career of the Shenandoah. 123 

and crew to England. The sequel to all this was that in four days, 
we were at sea in thorough repair, with a good supply of coal, and 
altogether in first class trim for cruising. 

While at Melbourne the officers were the recipients of invitations 
to a number of very handsome entertainments, and to one excep- 
tionally so at Ballarat, a mining town about forty miles from the coast. 


After leaving Melbourne we cruised towards the coast of New 
Zealand, and then to the northward and eastward, among the Fiji, 
Gilbert and other groups of the East Indies, expecting at any moment 
to sight some of the whaling fleet. In this we were disappointed, 
and it was not until we readied the Ascension Island, just north of 
the Equator, between the Caroline and Marshall groups, that we 
found and burnt four ships at anchor in the harbor. From Ascension 
we shaped our course for the Okhotsk Sea, a noted whaling ground, 
but after cruising along the coasts of Kamschatka and Siberia, and 
around those waters for three weeks, we only succeeded in getting 
the old bark Abigail. She was a veteran in whaling voyages, hav- 
ing been launched very early in the century, but from her officers we 
learned that most of the fleet had gone farther north. 


Although not on the programme, Captain Waddell concluded to 
push on to the Arctic Ocean. On the 22d of June we had reached 
latitude 62 north, and then we fell in with the ships William Thomp- 
son and Euphrates, both whalers. We burnt them, and on the 23d 
we captured two more ships. This day was made additionally event- 
ful by crossing the 180th meridian of longitude, making that week 
eight instead of seven days. We had two Fridays and two 23d days 
of June. We made this addition to avoid being twenty-four hours 
ahead of time when we got home, as it happened to Phineas Fogg in 
his trip "Around the World in Eighty Days." 


Hardly a day passed now that we did not capture several vessels 
until the 28th, when the climax was reached in eleven prizes. Nine 
of them were burnt and two bonded. After this no other captures 
were made. 

Some writer soon after the war, in giving full play to his pen, 
refers to the 28th of June, 1865, in these words: 

124 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

" The last act in the bloody drama of the American civil war had 
been played. Widely different were the armies that witnessed the 
opening and the closing scenes. The overture was played by the 
thunder of artillery beneath the walls of Sumter, with the breath of 
April fanning the cheeks of those who acted their parts while all the 
world looked on. The curtain finally fell amid the drifting ice of the 
Arctic seas. Burning vessels formed a pyrotechnic display such as 
the children of men have seldom looked on, while a grim and silent 
cruiser that had even then no government or country, and two 
weather-beaten whalers, filled with despondent prisoners, were the 
only audience." 


The 29th June found us inside the Arctic circle. From the time 
of entering the Okhotsk Sea we had been constantly meeting fields 
and floes of ice, which by making frequent detours we had succeeded 
in either passing through or around, but now it became impossible 
•to proceed farther north. A solid barrier of ice as far as we could 
see arrested our progress. It was perpetual day; we were on the 
borders of the land of the midnight sun and had no use for either 
lamp or candle. South of us was Behring Straits, one of the gate- 
ways to the cemetery for Arctic explorers, and only a few degrees 
north, afterwards, in 1879, the Jeannette, under De Long, was forced 
to make her first halt on an expedition which resulted so disastrously 
to most of its participants. 


As there was now but little probability of doing much more in the 
Arctic, Captain Waddell headed the She?iandoah to the southward, 
hoping to capture a California steamer between San Francisco and 
Panama. But on the 2d of August, when nearly west of the Sand- 
wich Islands, we fell in with the English bark Baracouta, thirteen 
days from San Francisco, bound for Liverpool, and learned for the 
first time of the colapse of the Confederacy. Had she been an 
American ship the chances are she would have been burnt, that is it 
would have required something more than the mere statement of the 
captain of an American vessel to convince us that the war was over. 
We had heard through some of the whalers captured in the Arctic, 
from San Francisco papers dated the 15th April, of the assassination 
of Mr. Lincoln, and of the disastrous events up to that date, but 
General Johnston was still in the field with his army. He did not 

Career of the Shenandoah. 125 

-surrender until the 18th April, and Kirby Smith until the 26th of 


This information naturally effected a complete change in our 
status. It not only deprived us of the authority for being at sea, but 
actually prohibited our being there at all. The commissions of Cap- 
tain Waddell and his officers, literally speaking, were now ' ' not 
worth the paper they were written on." We were without a country 
and without a flag. The ship itself had become the property of the 
United States. 

"and freedom with her banner torn but flying." 

It is true that the Shenandoah had the Confederate flag flying three 
months after, when we came to anchor in the Mersey, ofT Liverpool, 
but this was much a matter of sentiment, a sort of loyalty which you 
show to a friend in trouble, and in whom you still believe. 


The ship was now put upon a basis of peace, the guns were dis- 
mounted and stowed below; so, also, were the small arms. The 
smokestack was whitewashed, and to the outsider we must have pre- 
sented the appearance of a rather trim looking merchantman. Our 
course was shaped for Liverpool, where we arrived without any mis- 
hap on the 6th of November, 1865, having made a complete circuit 
•of the globe. After some little delay the English government ac- 
cepted the surrender of the Shenandoah, and the officers and crew 
were permitted to go ashore. 


The She?iandoah captured in all thirty-eight vessels. Scharf, in 
his history of the Confederate navy, states that the sum total of the 
claims filed against England with the Geneva Tribunal on account of 
eleven Confederate cruisers was $17,900,633, and all but $4,000,000 
of this having been caused by the Alabama and Shenandoah; that the 
actual losses inflicted by the Alabama were $6,547,609, only about 
$60,000 greater than those charged to the Shenandoah; that no indi- 
rect or consequential losses were allowed by the tribunal. In the 
" United States case" it was alleged that in i860 two-thirds of the 
•commerce of New York was carried on in American bottoms, but in 
T863 three-fourths was carried on in foreign bottoms; that from 1861 

126 Southern. Historical Society Papers. 

to 1864, inclusive, 715 American vessels of 480,882 tons were trans- 
ferred to the British flag to escape capture. 


The Alabama, Shenandoah and Florida were the only vessels rec- 
ognized by the Geneva Tribunal in the adjustment of the losses. 
While the commanders of Confederate cruisers have stated that the 
destruction of private property and the diversion of legitimate com- 
merce was not a pleasant duty, ' ' in their wars the United States had 
always practiced this mode of harassing an enemy, and had indeed 
been the most conspicuous exemplars of it that the world ever saw." 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, January 2, 1898.] 


(Washington Letter. 

The agents of the Navy Department who are engaged in the compi- 
lation of the official records of the Union and Confederate navies in 
the late war have recently brought to light, from Southern sources, 
a mass of hitherto unpublished information of curious interest and 
value, relative to the operations of the Confederate privateer Shen- 
andoah. In destructiveness to Union property, the work of the 
Shenandoah was second only to that of the Alabama, and the former 
enjoyed the peculiar distinction of having far outstripped the records 
of all other cruisers in the length of her voyage, and the fact that 
she never met with the slightest opposition from Union arms in her 
path of destruction, and continued her depredations many months 
after the conclusion of the war. 

It is worthy of remark that the Navy Department at Washington 
was in possession of information relative to her outfit and plans early 
in the summer of 1864, but no active search was instituted until Jan- 
uary, 1865; and though the United States ships Sanlce, Wachusett, 
Iroquois, Wyoming, and the European and Pacific squadrons at 
large were successively ordered in pursuit of her, none of them ever 
succeeded in coming up with her, much less in engaging her in com- 
bat. In the fall of 1865 her commander gained conclusive informa- 
tion that the war had gone against the South, and he leisurely and 
uninterruptedly made his way to England, where he gave himself 
and his ship into the hands of the British government. 

Career of the Shenandoah. 127 

The Shenandoah was a full-rigged ship of 1,000 tons and 250 horse 
power, with a battery of four 8-inch guns — two 32-pounders and two 
12-pounders. She was originally the British ship Sea King, built in 
1863 for the East India trade. On her return to England from her 
first voyage she was purchased by Confederate agents in Europe and 
fitted out as a cruiser in the Confederate service, primarily to disperse 
and destroy the New England whaling fleet in the northern seas. 
She had been designed as a transport for troops, had spacious decks 
and large air ports, and was well suited for conversion into a cruiser. 
A fast sailer under canvas, her steam power was more than auxiliary, 
as she could exceed eleven knots without pressing. Provided with 
fifteen months' stores, she sailed from London on October 8, 1864, 
in command of her English Master, Captain Corbett, for Madeira. 
Ten days later she was delivered over to her new commander, Lieut. 
James J. Waddell, who had taken passage from Liverpool with the 
officers and men detailed for his command. Among the latter were 
some picked men from the famous Alabama, which had been sunk 
by the Kearsage a few months before. The Shenandoah was com- 
missioned on October 19th, and that day cleared for Madeira. 

The journal of Commander Waddell is now in possession of the 
Navy Department, and it is a most interesting record of the career 
of the Shenandoah. 

On October the 30th the cry of ' ' Sail ho ! " rang out from the 
Shenandoah 's masthead. Immediately she bore down upon the dis- 
tant vessel, an American bark the Alma, of Seaport, Me., bound for 
Buenos Ayres with railroad iron. She was on her first voyage, 
thoroughly equipped, nicely coppered, and beautifully clean — a 
tempting prize. Defence on her part was out of question, and the 
Confederates boarded and scuttled her, after appropriating such of 
her furnishings as they could make use of and taking the crew pris- 
oners, six of whom afterward volunteered their service as active men 
on the Shenandoah. The Allna was valued at $95,000. 

On November 15th, the Shenandoah crossed the equator. The 
course thence lay south along the coast of Brazil. Nothing of in- 
terest occurred after crossing the line except the interchange of 
courtesies with neutral vessels until December 4th, when the Ameri- 
can whaleship Edward, of, and out of, New Bedford three months, 
was sighted and captured near the island of Tristan. The Edivard 
had taken a whale and was " cutting out" when captured, her crew 
being so occupied with the fish that the Shenandoah had come within 
easy range of her unobserved. The Edward' s outfit was of excel- 

128 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

lent quality, and the Confederates lay by two days supplying their 
steamer with necessaries. The whaleship was then burned, and 
Waddill landed for a day at Tristan and made arrangements with the 
native Governor to receive the Edward' s crew, most of whom were 
Sandwich Islanders. 

Soon after the departure from Tristan it was found that a serious 
accident had happened to the propeller shaft of the Shenandoah and 
it became necessary to seek some considerable port for repairs. 
Cape Town was nearest, but Commander Waddill preferred making 
Melbourne, if possible, the course thither lying nearer the more fre- 
quented tracks of the United States vessels. The voyage was 
marked by the capture of several merchantmen. 

The character of the Shenandoah was known at Melbourne, and 
she dropped anchor in Hobson's Bay, cheered and surrounded by 
the steamers in the haven. The next day the work of repairing the 
ship was begun, and during the delay several of the crew embraced 
the opportunity to desert, all of them being men who had joined the 
Shenandoah from captured ships. The attempt of Waddell to pur- 
sue and bring back these men was obstructed by the United States 
Consul, as well as by the Australian authorities. The Shenandoah, 
in a fortified British port, was in no position to resist these acts, and 
on February 18th, the repairs and coaling having been completed, 
the port was cleared. 

The delay of the steamer at Melbourne had operated against suc- 
cess for the Shena?idoah in the South Pacific. The whaling fleets of 
that ocean had received warning of the presence of the privateer, 
and had departed for sheltering ports of the Arctic Ocean. Learn- 
ing from a passing steamer that some United States whaling vessels 
were to be found in a harbor of the Caroline Islands, Waddell di- 
rected his course thither, reaching the islands early in April. 

An English pilot, who had been living there for years, volunteered 
his services to the Confederate, and brought the steamer to anchor 
in sight of four vessels flying the American flag. The flag of the 
Shenandoah was not yet displayed. After anchorage was secured, 
four armed boats were dispatched with orders to capture the vessels 
and bring their officers, ships' papers, log-book, instruments for nav- 
igation and whaling charts to the SJienandoah. After the boats left 
the steamer the Confederate flag was hoisted and a gun fired. This 
signal, announcing the character of the warship, brought down the 
American flags and the seizure was immediately made. Waddell 

Career of the Shenandoah. 129 

remained some days in this harbor, where he made friends with the 
native " King," a savage. 

The course of the Shenandoah was thence for many days toward 
the north and beset with violent storms. Finally, the snow-covered 
Kuril Islands were sighted, and on May 31st the Sea of Okhotsh was 
entered under the coast of Kamschatka. A few days later the 
whaling bark Abigail, of New Bedford, was overtaken, captured 
and burned. The Shenandoah continued as far north as the mouth 
of Chijinsk Bay, but being forced away by the ice, she stole along 
the coast of Siberia on her still hunt, amid frequent storms and great 
danger from floating ice. On June 14th, no ships having been 
sighted, Waddell changed his course toward the Aleutian Islands, 
entered Behring Sea on the next day, and almost immediately fell in 
with a couple of New Bedford whalers. One of them, the William 
Thompson, was the largest out of New England, and valued at 
$60,000. These ships were burned. 

The following day five vessels were sighted near an ice floe. The 
Confederates hoisted the American flag, bore down upon them, and 
ordered the nearest, the Milo, of New Bedford, to produce her ship's 
papers. Her captain complied, but was enraged to find himself thus 
entrapped. He declared the war was over. Waddell demanded 
documentary evidence which the Captain could not produce. His 
vessel was seized, and the Shenandoah started after the companion 
ships with the usual result. For several days following, the Shenan- 
doah had things her own way, and the prizes were frequent and val- 
uable. She struck fleet after fleet of whaling ships, only to consign 
them and their contents to the flames. On June 26th alone, five 
ships, valued collectively at $160,000, were destroyed, and a day or 
two later, she reached the climax of her career, burning within 
eleven hours eleven ships, worth in the aggregate nearly $500,000. 

The Shenandoah was now overcrowded with prisoners, most of 
whom were afterwards transferred to passing ships. Having cruised 
around daringly for a week or two longer, and sighting no more 
ships, she turned her prow southward again. Her depredations 
were at an end, for early in August, she spoke the English bark 
Barricouta, from San Francisco to Liverpool, and from her received 
conclusive evidence of the end of the war between the States. Com- 
mander Waddell could not persuade himself to enter an American 
port, and for some time aimlessly scoured the seas. Later it was 
determined to seek an English port, and on November 5, 1865, the 
Shenandoah entered St. George's channel, having sailed 23,000 

130 Southern Historical Society Payers. 

miles without seeing land. On November 6th, she steamed up the 
Mersey, and the Confederate flag- having been hauled down, Wad- 
dell sent a communication to the English Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
Earl Russell, placing his ship at the disposal of the British Govern- 
ment. Through Earl Russell the vessel was transferred to the juris- 
diction of the American Minister, Charles Francis Adams, who 
caused her to be conveyed to this country, to be dismantled. 

Such is the record of the Shenandoah. She was actually cruising 
for Union property but eight months, and during that time she cap- 
tured and destroyed vessels to the value of more than $1,100,000, 
and the Union had never been able to direct a blow against her. 
She had visited every ocean except the Antarctic, covered a distance 
of 58,000 statute miles. The last gun in defence of the South was 
fired in the Arctic Ocean from her deck on July 22, 1865. 

[Sunday News, Charleston, S. C, May 2, 1897.] 



An Address by A. W. Taft, before Camp Sumter C. V., Charleston, 

S. C, May 1, 1897. 

Commander and Comrades : 

To-night you have invited me to respond in behalf of the Signal 
Corps, being the senior officer of that body connected with your 
camp. With great pleasure do I accept the compliment, for it cannot 
but be a matter of pride to be chosen as the representative of such 
a command, a body composed of men selected from the different 
branches of the service, not only for their intelligence, but also for 
the complete confidence that could be placed in them, holding- only 
the humble rank of privates, but what greater compliment can be 
paid to any man than to say of him that he had been selected for his 
intelligence and reliability from the ranks of the Confederate army, 

The 'Signal Service Corps. 131 

whose merits have won the admiration of all nations ? I can also 
add that members of the Signal Corps, although only detailed men, 
were held in such esteem that to them were always extended the 
honors due to commissioned officers. Thrown, however, in daily in- 
tercourse with my brother survivors of the ' ' Lost Cause, ' ' I cannot 
but recognize the fact that by many of those, who, with musket on 
shoulder or sabre by side, bore the heat and burden of many a hard 
fought battle, we are classed among those non-combatants, who, 
occupying what were termed "bomb-proof" positions, would now 
pose as veterans, and how can I better use the limited space of time 
allotted to me than by bringing to your attention certain facts that 
may tend to remove that erroneous impression ? 

The members of the Signal Corps, like those of all other com- 
mands, were assigned to duty at the various stations at which their 
services would be most valuable, some comparatively free from dan- 
ger, while others were exposed and dangerous, that a term of service 
thereat, by any soldier, can be looked on as a certificate of bravery. 

You have passed a highly merited eulogy on our lamented Com- 
rade Thomas Huguenin, whose highest honor is that he commanded 
at Fort Sumter, but let me call to your attention the fact that three 
members of the Signal Corps were constantly there on duty, sharing 
not only the dangers and trials of Huguenin, but also of Rhett, El- 
liott, Harleston, Mitchell and of all those other heroes who there 
did serve, and of whose records we, as brother soldiers, are so proud. 


By their side the signal officer stood, and beneath crumbling wall 
and the midst of bursting shells, with flag in hand by day and torch 
by night, they sent to this seemingly doomed city the glad tidings: 
" Fort Sumpter still holds out." When you honor the memories of 
those heroes, who for their country, gave up their lives, forget not 
the brave boy Huger, who, upon her ramparts, shed his life blood, 
as nobly performing his duty to his country and as willingly giving 
his life to the cause as anyone of them all. 

Are there any whom you hold in higher esteem than the officers 
and men of the navy ? Do not forget the fact that two members of 
the Signal Corps, stationed on each iron-clad, stood ready at all 
times to share the dangers of the gallant Ingraham, Tucker and 
their men. 

Again, on Morris Island we find the Signal Corps, and on them 

132 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

devolved the duty of keeping that brave garrison in communication 
with the outer world. You who, like myself, experienced the dan- 
gers and trials of that siege, can indeed appreciate their services, 
and testify to the bravery and coolness with which the members of 
the Signal Corps there bore themselves in the midst of dangers that 
caused the bravest to tremble, standing nobly at their post, and only 
leaving the island with the rear guard, at the evacuation. 

There were also members of the corps, who at other points, not 
so much exposed, did even more valuable service to our cause. I 
refer to those who day and night read the signals as they passed 
from station to station of the United States Army and Navy. To 
them we owe the preservation of Sumter, Johnson, Gregg and Wag- 
ner, on several occasions, those forts being forewarned of attacks to 
be made, and consequently prepared to resist the same. I have so 
far spoken only of the services of the corps in the siege of this city, 
having been connected only with this and the Signal Corps of the 
Army of Tennessee, and I know that my time is limited, and there 
are but few of those present who were at any time connected with 
the latter army, but will add that to demonstrate that the members 
of the Signal Corps bore themselves with equal bravery on other 
fields, and did not occupy bomb-proof places. History tells us that 
when the beloved Stonewall Jackson fell a signal officer caught him 
in his arms and another bit the dust by his side. 


Such, my comrades, are the facts. I would submit for your con- 
sideration, still, for fear they may be received by some as the state- 
ments of one interested, I shall trespass on your patience while I 
quote from the published accounts of the defence of Morris Island. 
The writer in describing the attempt to blow up the Ironsides uses 
the following words: 

"The new Ironsides was singled for destruction. One of the 
Signal Corps had been stationed at Battery Gregg, and another at 
Wagner, each with keen eyes, watching their respective lines of 
vision. At the electric key stood Captain Langdon Cheves, with 
eyes bent upon both stations, so that as the flags waved in concert, 
indicating the fatal moment when the Ironsides should be over the 
torpedo, to apply the spark and do the deed. Slowly the Ironsides 
steamed around, delivering one terrific broadside after another. Ever 

The Signal Service Corps. 133 

and anon the flag would wig-wag on Gregg, but Wagner was still; 
then that on Wagner, but Gregg's did not reply, and so it seemed 
that hours passed. At last both flags waved. The key was touched 
once and again. There was no answering explosion." 

Again in this report we find the following: 

" Though non-combatants, none ran greater risks than the Signal 
Corps. Perched on the highest and most conspicuous spots of Bat- 
tery Gregg, flag in hand, the cynosure of all eyes, both friend and 
foe, exposed to the fire of sharpshooters and artillery, often their 
special aim, in the thick as well as the surcease of the conflict, the 
wig- wag of their flags conveyed to the commandant at Charleston, 
the needs of the garrison, or received from him orders for defence. 
By their intelligent service, likewise the dispatches passing from fleet 
to shore were read, so that forewarned by them on several occa- 
sions, the Confederates were forearmed, and ready so as to repel, 
with little loss, assaults that woufld otherwise have been fatal." 

Such is the tribute paid to the Signal Corps by a disinterested 
party, one whose record is such that his words of praise would be 
heard with feelings of pride by any veteran, however brave he may 
have shown himself on many a hard fought battlefield. Such we are 
proud to claim as our record, and submitting the same, is there one 
of you who will challenge our right to the grand title of ' ' Veterans 
of the Lost Cause ? " 

134 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Richmond (Va.) Dispa'ch, April 25, 1897.] 


Incidents of the City's Evacuation Described. 


Experiences of an Officer on the Retreat. 

"Sunny Side," Albemarle Co., Va., April 6, 1897. 

To the Editor of the Dispatch : 

During part of the month of February and during March, 1865, 
the Second Battalion of Virginia Reserves (boys between sixteen and 
eighteen, and old men between forty- five and fifty, commanded by 
the undersigned) were stationed in the City of Richmond on guard 
duty, having been withdrawn from the lines nearly opposite Fort 
Harrison, about the 15th of February. On the afternoon of Satur- 
day, the 1st of April, 1865, I went down on a small steamer to 
"Wilton," the home of my friend, Colonel W. C. Knight, and 
spent Sunday with him and his family. I expected to return to 
Richmond early Monday morning. During Sunday all was quiet 
on the north side of James river, but away to the south we could 
hear sounds that indicated a serious engagement. The Colonel and 
myself in the afternoon walked down nearly opposite Drewry's Bluff, 
when a steamer — the one I came down on Saturday — passed down, 
loaded, as we thought, with 'Federal prisoners. As it passed by 
rapidly, we heard from the boat that Richmond was to be evacuated, 
and that was the last trip the boat would make. As all was so very 
quiet in our neighborhood, we did not credit this report. About 10 
o'clock P. M. Sunday I retired, and before I had fallen asleep the 
Colonel came to my door, knocked, and informed me that the lines 
on the north side were being evacuated; that all of his horses and 
wagons had been just then impressed, and were to be used in mov- 
ing stores, etc. I was then about nine miles from the city, and my 
quarters were out in the neighborhood of what was formerly known 
as Buchanan Spring, so there was nothing for me to do but walk 
about twelve miles. It was then 11 o'clock at night. I placed in 
my haversack a small piece of hambone and a loaf of bread, which 

Burning of Richmond. 135 

good Mrs. Knight gave me, little dreaming that I would get nothing 
more to eat for more than three days. 


Reaching my quarters in the city about 2 o'clock A. M. of the 3d, 
my adjutant, Linden Kent, a youth about eighteen (who afterwards 
became a distinguished lawyer in Washington city, and died a few 
years since), showed me an order from General Ewell, directing all 
the tobacco warehouses, then full of tobacco, to be burned at a cer- 
tain signal. He and Captain Herron, of Orange, the ranking officer 
in my absence (Captain W. T. Early, of Albemarle, and Major James 
Strange, of Fluvanna, then being absent, sick), had made all the 
arrangements necessary to carry this order into effect. I directed 
Captain Herron and Adjutant Kent, so soon as the signal was given, 
to fire these buildings, then pass over the river on Mayo's bridge and 
follow the army. Being dead tired, I threw myself down to rest, 
fell asleep, and did not waken until the arsenal exploded. This woke 
me up most effectually. I threw my blanket over my shoulder, 
sword and haversack on one side, and canteen, with a little brandy, 
on the other. I struck out for Mayo's bridge, some one or two 
miles distant. The streets were quiet and apparently deserted. 
When I reached Mayo's bridge the small bridge over the canal con- 
necting the basin with the dock was on fire on one side, a burning 
canal-boat having drifted up against it. 


As I was passing over the bridge a few cavalry videttes passed me. 
I shalf ever believe we were the last Confederates who crossed the 
bridge, for that had also been fired and was now in flames on one 
side. As I climbed the slope beyond the bridge, the rising sun was 
just beginning to peep over the eastern hills. I turned and looked 
back; the city of Richmond was in flames. From all the windows 
of the Gallego Mills tongues of flame were bursting out; dense clouds 
of smoke, sparks and flames were reaching skyward. Were I a 
painter, even now, after thirty-two years, I could paint the scene. 
The sight was awfully grand. I felt the end was nigh. After gazing 
on this sublime spectacle for a time, I trudged on in pursuit of my 
command. After proceeding about a mile, I met Mr. Davis, father 
of Dr. H. Wythe Davis, of your city, and brother-in-law of Colonel 
Knight, who lived nearly opposite Wilton. He was on horseback, 

136 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

and insisted upon my taking his horse. I declined to do so at first, 
but he remarked that I had better take him, because if I did not the 
Yankees certainly would. He had dismounted and tendered me the 
bridle. I took it, mounted; we shook hands and parted, he to 
return to his home, and I to follow and overtake my command. 
About i o'clock P. M. I overtook them, and we proceeded together 
with other commands, things being a good deal mixed. 


Our objective point was, as I learned, Burkeville Junction. On 
the night of the 3d of April, we encamped about twelve or fifteen 
miles from Manchester. On the 4th we crossed the Appomattox on 
the railroad bridge at Mattoax Station. On the 5th we passed Ame- 
lia Courthouse. 

Owing to some trouble in our front, we made very slow progress, 
and that night we marched, or tried to march, all night, but only 
progressed a short distance; frequently we would move a few yards 
and then halt for an hour or two. Just before day we were ordered 
into camp. Captain Herron and I spread our blankets together and 
fell asleep. We had not slept more than an hour, when the ominous 
long roll sounded through the camps. We immediately fell into line 
and marched on. Up to this time the command had received no 
rations. Seeing that my men were nearly exhausted for want of food 
I directed two of my most active men to push forward a little distance 
from the main road, and try to secure a mutton, and rejoin us on 
the march. On we proceeded, very slowly, owing to the constant 
dashes of Sheridan's cavalry on our wagon train. We had not gone 
more than two or three miles, when we came to the two men with a 
dressed mutton hanging up near the road. We stacked arms and 
were about to divide our plunder, when Sheridan's cavalry struck 
our wagon train a few hundred yards in advance of us. 

We at once fell into ranks, moved on, and in the excitement of 
the moment forgot our mutton, except that your writer pulled off a 
kidney and put it in his haversack, which delicacy he broiled on a 
few coals during a temporary halt. About two o'clock P. M. we 
approached Sailor's creek. When about a mile from the creek, the 
main road bore to the right. We passed directly forward, through 
two gate posts (I presume along a private road). As we wound 
down the hill, we saw on our left a house flying the yellow flag. We 
crossed the creek on a few fence rails thrown in. The creek was 
shallow, but marshy. As we went up the hill, the road bearing to 

Burning of Richmond. 137 

the left, we came to several pieces of artillery and caissons which 
had been abandoned, and near them I found a soldier of this county 
— R. D. Burruss, by name — badly wounded, who belonged to the 
46th Regiment, Virginia Volunteers, Wise's Brigade (this regiment 
I had commanded for about two years). He informed me that nearly 
all the brigade had been killed, wounded, or captured, around Pe- 
tersburg, or on the retreat. 


After going a short distance further, I came to a group of mounted 
officers, consisting of Generals Ewell, Custis Lee, Barton and others. 
In a few moments the artillery of the enemy opened on us. For 
myself, I must confess I felt somewhat excited, but General Ewell 
remarked in his ordinary tones: " Tomatoes are very good; I wish 
I had some." This remark, under the circumstances, at once calmed 
my excitement, and with great difficulty I restrained my disposition 
to laugh. 

In a few minutes we were moved to the right, and as the ground 
was rough, hilly and thick with trees and undergrowth, I dismounted 
and turned my horse over to my orderly. 

We proceeded a half a mile or more and were halted a little below 
the crest of a steep ridge, with a deep ravine in front of us, and 
another ridge opposite us as high, if not higher than our ridge. 
From our position the opposite crest was distant some 200 to 300 
yards. On our extreme left (being the left of the entire corps) was 
the naval battalion, under Commodore Tucker, then came my little 
command of some ninety muskets, then came the command of Col- 
onel Crutchfield (who was killed not far from where I stood). My 
belief has always been that there was a considerable interval between 
Crutchfield' s right and the next command. I think the troops named 
above numbered not more than 600 muskets. 


Soon after we took our position the artillery of the enemy opened 
upon us, but the range was too high and did no damage, except to 
the tree tops. After the artillery had ceased firing a line of skir- 
mishers appeared on the crest of the opposite ridge, but soon retired 
from a brisk fire opened by our line. After they retired a long line 
of infantry appeared on the opposite ridge. Our men opened on 
them and for a time there was brisk musketry fire on both sides. 
We had the advantage of position; the enemy were shooting below 

138 Southern Historical Society Payers. 

a point-blank range, while our men were shooting above that range. 
I believe it is the general observation of military men that troops 
usually shoot a little too high. 

After some half hour, more or less, the enemy in our front retired, 
but a large body, at least a brigade, was observed moving around 
our left. 


All things were quiet for a time; then I observed a flag of truce 
on the opposite ridge. General Barton directed me to meet it. I 
did so, and proceeded to the bottom of the ravine, where I met a 
mounted officer, who proved to be General (or Colonel) Oliver 
Edwards. He informed me that Generals Ewell, Lee, and all of the 
command who were not killed, had surrendered, and he desired us 
to surrender in order to prevent the further useless effusion of blood. 
This proposition I declined, on the ground that we had received 
no orders from our commanders to surrender. I reported the inter- 
view to General Barton, and about that time a squadron of cavalry 
rode up from the rear and we surrendered. I surrendered my sword, 
which had been the dress-sword of my great-grandfather, Dr. Thomas 
Walker, of Castle Hill, to a lieutenant, taking down his name, and 
some years since I recovered it by paying $25 (C. O. D.) 

As this letter is already too long, I must close, with the remark 
that the men on the left were comparatively raw troops, and yet they 
acted with wonderful coolness and gallantry. 
Very respectfully, 

R. T. W. Duke, 
Late Lieutenant- Colonel Second Battalion Va. Reserves. 

P. S. — John Preston Goss, Esq., clerk in the First Auditor's office, 
was my sergeant-major, and, I think, was present at my interview 
with General Edwards. I would like John P. Goss to give his recol- 
lections of the retreat from Richmond and the fight at Sailor's Creek 
in your paper, as we are not even mentioned in any of the reports of 
the battle of Sailor's Creek. 

This letter is written from memory, and there may be mistakes. 
I would, therefore, be glad to hear from any of the survivors of 
Tucker's Battalion, Crutchfield's Command, or of my command (the 
Second Battalion). At some future day I propose to write a brief 
account of what became of me, from our surrender at Sailor's Creek 
to my return home from Johnson's Island prison, on the 29th of July, 
1865. R. T. W. D. 

Retreat from, Richmond. 139 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, May 2. 1897.] 


Colonel Crutchfield and the "Artillery Brigade.' 


A Forced March 'Mid Cold and Rain. Fight at Sailor's Creek. 

Richmond, Va. , April 2j, i8gy. 
To the Editor of the Dispatch: 

Being on a visit to Richmond from my home in St. Louis, I no- 
ticed in your paper of the 25th instant, a letter from Colonel R. T. 
W. Duke, giving some incidents of the retreat from Richmond, and 
the fight at Sailor's Creek. This has put me in a reminiscent mood, 
and I would like to give, for your Confederate column, some of my 
recollections of those stirring times, more especially of the retreat 
from Richmond, and the participation of my command in the battle 
of Sailor's Creek. 

During the winter of 1864-65, my battalion, the 10th Virginia 
Artillery, was stationed immediately in front of Fort Harrison. The 
battalion had formerly been commanded by Major William Allen, of 
" Claremont," but at that time by Major J. O. Hensley, of Bedford 
county. It was composed of five companies — Companies A and C, 
from Richmond, commanded respectively by Captains J. W. Barlow 
and Thomas P. Wilkinson; Company B, from Bedford county, Cap- 
tain Robert B. Clayton; Company D, from Prince George, Captain 
C. Shirley Harrison, of Brandon; and Company E, from Henrico, 
Captain Thomas Ballard Blake. Lieutenant Sam Wilson, was Adju- 

The 10th Virginia and the 19th Virginia Battalion (also composed 
of five companies) were under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel 
John Wilder Atkinson, of Richmond, with Lieutenant John L. 
Cowardin as adjutant. 

The 1 8th and 20th Virginia Battalions, commanded by Lieutenant- 

*See Ante, pp. 38-47. The report to General G. W. Custis Lee, of Major 
W. S. Basinger,'on the operations of " Crutchfield's Artillery Brigade." 

140 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Colonel James Howard, of Baltimore, and the 18th Georgia Bat- 
talion, also attached to our command, formed what was known as 
the "Artillery Brigade, " which at that time was under the command 
of Colonel Crutchfield. 

If I have made any omissions I would be glad to have them sup- 

The adjutant-general of the brigade was Captain W. N. Worth - 
ington, of Richmond. Captain Worthington had been a school- 
mate of mine at Hanover Academy just before the war. Major- 
General G. W. Custis Lee commanded the division and Lieutenant 
General Ewell the corps. 

We were thoroughly drilled in artillery practice, and manned the 
heavy guns on the line of the Richmond defences. We were also 
well drilled in infantry tactics, and were armed with rifles. I wish 
that it was possible to give all the names of the command, but space 
would not permit it, even if I could recall them after all of these 
years. I would be glad to see published a complete roster of all 
officers and men of the Artillery Brigade, at the time of the evacua- 
tion, and of those who were at Sailor's Creek. On the afternoon of 
Sunday, April 2d, 1865, rumors reached our lines of important 
movements pending. That night we received marching orders, and 
were under way by midnight. As our supplies of every description 
were exceedingly scant we were strictly in ' ' light marching order. ' ' 
Our daily rations for some time past had been one pound of corn- 
meal and a quarter of a pound of bacon. The bacon was alternated 
with a pound of fresh beef. Both the bacon and the beef were occa- 
sionally substituted by a gill of sorghum. So we started on the 
march with empty haversacks. sWe moved towards James river, 
crossing on a pontoon bridge above Drewry's Bluff. The explosions 
of the magazines at Chaffin's and Drewry's Bluff and at Richmond 
could be plainly heard. 


Early Monday morning we learned that Richmond was burning. 
We were then moving in the direction of Burkeville Junction. It 
was a forced march, halting only to rest on our arms. To add to 
other discomforts, a cold rain set in. Footsore, almost starved, and 
well-nigh exhausted, we continued the march. There being no com- 
missary stores from which to draw, no rations had been issued since 
leaving the lines, and, as before stated, we started with empty haver- 

Retreat from Richmond: 141 

sacks. The resources of the country through which we were pass- 
ing had been almost exhausted, and we had to gather up and eat the 1 
grains of corn left on the ground where the horses had fed, whenever 
we could find any. We were, moreover, constantly annoyed by the 
enemy's cavalry, which hung on our rear. Thus the retreat con- 
tinued until the afternoon of Thursday, April 6th. More than half 
■of our men had straggled or fallen by the wayside from sheer exhaus- 
tion, but those whose endurance and grit had brought them thus far 
were ready to face any foe. Between 2 and 3 o'clock in the after- 
noon of the 6th we arrived at Sailor's Creek. The stream had been 
swollen by the rains of the past few days and the waters overflowed 
the banks. We waded across this stream and took position on the 
rising ground about 100 yards beyond. The ground was covered 
with a growth of broom straw and a few small bushes, mostly pine. 
Our line of battle was long drawn out — exceedingly thin. Very soon 
after taking our position, the enemy opened a brisk fire on us from a 
battery posted on the opposite ridge, about 300 yards away. We 
had no artillery to return the fire. This fire did but little damage to 
my immediate command, but our brigade suffered severely further to 
the right. Their infantry then appeared in solid line. They moved 
steadily forward, reached the creek which we had so recently crossed, 
waded through* as we had done, dressed up their line, and continued 
their advance towards the rising ground where our men lay. When 
they had advanced to within thirty or forty paces of our line, the 
order was given to charge. In a moment we were on our feet, yell- 
ing like demons and rushing upon their line. It has always been a 
mystery to me why they did not then and there wipe our little band 
from the face of the earth. It may be that the very audacity of our 
charge bewildered and demoralized them. At any rate they broke 
and fled just before we reached them, but a portion of the line en- 
gaged in a hand-to-hand fight. We followed them to the edge of 
the stream, into which they plunged, our men keeping up a deadly 
fire on them as they crossed. It was during this charge that my 
company suffered' most severely. One-third were either killed or 
wounded, more or less seriously. 


Colonel Crutchfield was killed, and Adjutant Wilson shot through 
the leg, which had to be amputated. I received a slight wound in 
the shoulder, which, however, did not incapacitate me. After the 
enemy had retreated across the creek, we gathered up our handful of 

142 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

men and fell back to our original position. While Captain Barlow r 
*of Company A, was endeavoring to reform his men on my company, 
which was the color company, he was shot through the head and in- 
stantly killed. I regret that I cannot give a full list of those who 
fell. We had hardly regained our former position, when Sheridan's 
cavalry came down on us from the rear. A young cavalry officer, 
riding in among us, begged us to surrender, telling us that we were 
entirely surrounded, and that further resistance was useless. It was 
so gallant an act no one attempted to molest him. 

In the mean while the infantry, which had been driven across the 
creek, had reformed and were advancing in force. Our men then 
threw down their arms, and we were prisoners of war. I remember 
that in the hot blood of youth, I broke my sword over a sapling, 
rather than surrender it. When the infantry which we had so re- 
cently repulsed, came up to us again, it was with smiling faces. They 
commenced opening their haversacks, offering to share their " hard 
tack" with us, which in our famished condition we most eagerly and 
gratefully accepted. They, moreover, complimented us on the gal- 
lant fight we had made. In this connection, I will add that we were 
always treated with every consideration by the veterans at the front. 
It was only when we fell into the hands of the provost guard that any 
harshness was shown. About dusk that evening we were taken back 
across Sailor's Creek, and camped that night in an old field. The 
next morning (7th), we started on our long march to Petersburg and 
City Point, en route to northern prisons. 


The non-commissioned officers and men were mostly taken to 
Point Lookout, while almost all of the officers were eventually taken 
to Johnson's Island, in Lake Erie. We took a boat at City Point, 
and when we touched at Fortress Monroe, on the morning of April 
15th, learned that President Lincoln had been assassinated the night 
before. We were taken to Baltimore and from there to Washington. 
The city was draped in mourning. The excitement was intense and 
we had to be marched through the city to the old Capitol prison 
under a double guard, to protect us from a threatened mob. After 
remaining in the old Capitol about two weeks we were taken to 
Johnson's Island, where I remained until June 18, 1865, when I was 
released, our cause being then a " Lost Cause." Arrived in Rich- 
mond June 25th. 

Several years ago a friend of mine in St. Louis gave me a copy of 

Retreat from Richmond. 143 

the New York Herald, in which was a dispatch from one of its war 
correspondents, dated Farmville, Va., April 9, 1865. He spoke of 
the fight at Sailor's Creek as follows: 

"Immense Slaughter of the Enemy. — The slaughter of the enemy 
in the fight of the 6th instant exceeded anything I ever saw. The 
ground over which they fought was literally strewn with their killed. 
The fighting was desperate, in many cases hand-to-hand. There 
were a number of bayonet wounds reported at the hospitals." 

He says nothing about the slaughter of his own men. We had an 
idea that we were doing some " slaughtering" ourselves. 

However, this dispatch goes to prove that the fight was no child's 
play. He then gives ' ' a list of some of the rebel officers captured 
on the 6th instant," as follows: 

Navy. — Admiral Hunter, Commodore Tucker, Captain Simms, 
Midshipman J. H. Hamilton, Lieutenant H. H. Marmaduke, Master 
W. R. Mays, Midshipman C. F. Sevier, Midshipman T. M. Bowen, 
Lieutenant C. L. Stanton, Lieutenant J. P. Claybrook, John R. 
Chisman, Master's-mate, Lieutenant M. G. Porter, Lieutenant R. 
J. Bowen, Lieutenant W. W. Roberts, Lieutenant J. W. Matterson, 
Midshipman W. F. Nelson, Lieutenant M. M. Benton, Master's- 
mate S. G. Turner, Lieutenant W. F. Shum, Lieutenant T. C. Pink- 
ney, Captain T, B. Ball, Lieutenant H. Ward, Midshipman B. S. 
Johnson, Midshipman F. L. Place, Lieutenant D. Trigg, Midship- 
man T. Berein, Midshipmen C. Myers, J. M. Gardner. 

Marine Corps. — Captain George Holmes, Captain T. S. Wilson, 
Lieutenant F. McKee, Lieutenant A. S. Berry, Lieutenant T. P. 

Army Officers. — Lieutenant-General Ewell, General Corse, General 
Barton, General Hunton, General J. P. Semmes, General Du Bose, 
General Custis Lee, General Kershaw and staff, Colonel C. C. San- 
ders, 24th Georgia; Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Timberlake, 53rd Vir- 
ginia; Lieutenant N. S. Hutchins, 3rd Georgia; Lieutenant-Colonel 
Hamilton Phil, Georgia Legion; Major J. M. Goggin, Major E. L. 
Caston, Captain J. M. Davis, Captain Carwall, Captain J. W. Wal- 
ker, A. A. G. ; Captain C. S. Dwight, Captain McRae Cane, 16th 
Georgia; Colonel Armstrong, 18th Georgia; Captain L. Bass, 25th 
Virginia Battery; Lieutenant Colonel E. P. False, 22d Virginia Bat- 
tery; Major F. C. Smith, 24th Georgia; Captain J. F. Tompkins, 
22d Virginia; Lieutenant H. C. Tompkins, 22d Virginia; Captain 

144 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

W. C. Winn, 22d Virginia; Adjutant S. D. Davies, 47th Virginia; 
H. W. O. Gatewood, 37th Virginia; Adjutant Williams, 3d Georgia 
Sharpshooters; Lieutenant J. L. Buford, Captain J. L. Jarrett, 69th 
Virginia; Lieutenant J. T. Ferneyhough, 20th Virginia Battalion; 
Captain J. A. Hanes, 55th Virginia; Captain A. Reynolds, 55th 
Virginia; Captain J. H. Fleet, 55 Virginia; Captain V. H. Fauntle- 
roy, 55th Virginia; Lieutenant W. C. Robinson, 55th Virginia; 
Lieutenant Thomas Fauntleroy, 55th Virginia; Captain R. T. Bland, 
55th Virginia; Adjutant R. L. Williams, 55th Virginia; Lieutenant 
J. R. P. Humphries, 55th Virginia; Lieutenant E. J. Ragland, 53d 
Virginia; Lieutenant A. B. Willingham, 53d Virginia; Lieutenant- 
Colonel T. G. Barbour, 24th Virginia; Captain W. F. Harrison, 
24th Virginia; Lieutenant-Colonel James Howard, 18th and 20th 
Virginia Battalions; Captain A. Austin Smith, ordnance officer; 
Captain McHenry Howard, General Custis Lee's staff; Lieut. J. F. 
Porteous, ordnance officer; Maj. J. E. Robertson, 20th Va. Battalion; 
Captain S. H. Overton, 20th Virginia Battalion; Captain R. K. 
Hargo, 20th Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant C. W. Hunter, 20th 
Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant J. H. Lewis, 20th Virginia Battalion; 
Lieutenant A. G. Williams, 20th Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant B. 
Scruggs, 20th Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant J. N. Snelson, 20th 
Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant E. Coffin, 20th Virginia Battalion; 
Lieutenant Ferneyhough, 20th Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant P. F. 
Vaden, 20th Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant-Colonel A. D. Bruce, 
47th Virginia; Captain E. L. Wharton, 47th Virginia; Lieutenant 
J. S. Hutt, 47th Virginia; Lieutenant C. Molty, 47th Virginia; Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel J. W. Atkinson, 10th and 19th Virginia Battalions; 
Lieutenant J. L. Cowardin, Adjutant 10th and 19th Virginia Battal- 
ions; Captain T. B. Wilkinson, 10th Virginia Battalion; Captain T. 
B. Blake, 10th Virginia Battalion; Captain R. B. Claytor, 10th Vir- 
ginia Battalion; Captain C. S. Harrison, 10th Virginia Battalion; 
Lieutenant J. W. Turner, 10th Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant B. G. 
Andrews, 10th Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant T. C. Talbott, 10th 
Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant A. P. Bohannon, Adjutant Wilson, 
10th Virginia Battalion, wounded; Captain J. H. Norton, iSth Vir- 
ginia Battalion; Lieutenant W. Stevenson, 18th Virginia Battalion; 
Lieutenant Joseph Russell, 18th Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant S. 
Doridian, 18th Virginia Battalion; Captain D. L. Smoot, 18th Vir- 
ginia Battalion; Colonel J. J. Phillips, 9th Virginia; Adjutant C. C. 
Phillips, 9th Virginia; Lieutenant W. Roane Ruffin, Chamberlayne's 
Battery; Captain E. B. Coltrane, 24th Virginia; Captain J. W. Barr, 

Retreat from Richmond. 145 

Barr's Battery; Lieutenant W. F. Campbell, Barr's Battery; Cap- 
tain H. Nelson, 28th Virginia; Lieutenant C. K. Nelson, 28th Vir- 
ginia; Lieutenant J. B. Leftwich, 28th Virginia; Lieutenant J. 
N. Kent, 220! Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant H. C. Shepherd, 
22a! Virginia Battalion; Lieutenant J. E. Glossen, 47th Virginia; 
Lieutenant R. P. Welling, 12th Mississippi; Chaplain E. A. Garrison, 
48th Mississippi; Lieutenant Robert T. Knox, 30th Virginia; Lieu- 
tenant J. H. Marshall, 30th Virginia; Captain J. S. Knox, 30th 
Virginia; Lieutenant St. George Fitzhugh, Pegram Artillery; Lieu- 
tenant T. L. Roberts, 34th Virginia; Lieutenant J. S. Watts, 46th 
Virginia; Lieutenant J. T. Fowler, 46th Virginia; Major M. B. Har- 
din, 1 8th Virginia Battalion; Adjutant W. H. Laughter, 18th Vir- 
ginia Battalion; Captain W. S. Griffin, 18th Virginia Battalion; 
Captain L. B. Madison, 58th Virginia; Lieutenant Judson Hundron, 
Lieutenant J. Foyler, 58th Virginia; Lieutenant John Addison, 17th 
Virginia; Lieutenant-Colonel G. Tyler, 17th Virginia; Lieutenant J. 
B. Hill, 53d Virginia; Sergeant- Major J. S. Miller, 20th Virginia 
Battalion; Lieutenant M. H. Daughty, nth Florida; Captain Winder, 
Young's Battery; Lieutenant J. C. Murray, Young's Battery; Cap- 
tain W. S. Randall, General Custis Lee's staff; Colonel J. T. Craw- 
ford, 51st Georgia; Colonel James Dickey, 51st Georgia; Captain 
W. R. McClain, 51st Georgia; Captain J. H. Faulkner, 51st Geor- 
gia; Captain R. N. Askew, 51st Georgia; Captain V. B. Baglow, 
51st Georgia; Lieutenant J. A. Brown, 51st Georgia; Lieutenant C. 
W. S. Swanson, Captain H. }. Otis, 2d North Carolina, Evans' Bri- 
gade; Lieutenant P. A. Green, 3d Georgia; Captain W. G. Baird, 
24th North Carolina; Colonel P. McLaughlin, 50th Georgia; Cap- 
tain W. A. Smith, 50th Georgia; Captain G. E. Fahn, 50th Georgia; 
Lieutenant Thompson, 35th North Carolina; Lieutenant J. B. Pur- 
cell, 56th Virginia. 

The above list will doubtless be of interest to old soldiers who may 
chance to see it. 

Very respectfully, 

Thomas Ballard Blake, 
Late Captain Company B, 10th Va. Battalion Artillery. 

146 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Augusta, Ga., Chronicle, April, 1897.] 


A Fitting Tribute to the Gallant General P. M. B. Young, C. S. A. 

At a recent meeting of the Confederate Survivors' Association, in 
Augusta, President Eve, in lieu of his annual address, read a tribute 
to the valor and worth of the late General P. M. B. Young, that will 
prove a valuable addition to the archives of the Association. It is as 
follows : 

Gentlemen of the Confederate Survivors' Association: 

I have been selected by your committee to present this tribute 
to the memory of our old commander and one of your honorary 
members, General G. M. P. Young. Pardon the seeming egotism 
— in reference unavoidable — in mentioning his services on the' coast 
of Georgia and South Carolina, and shall offer this in lieu of the 
customary annual address of the President of this Association, as it 
is the historian's duty to keep up your records. 

Comrades of the Cobb Legion, Georgia Cavalry, little did we 
think as we marched the streets of Richmond, Va., at our late reun- 
ion, to the soul-stirring, familiar airs of our old war songs, that he 
who had so often ridden at the head of your squadron, whose sabre 
had so often flashed in your front, the true hero of ' ' The Cobb Le- 
gion, Georgia Cavalry," your Adjutant in 1861, your Major and 
Lieutenant-Colonel in 1862, your Colonel in 1863, your Brigadier- 
General in 1864 and 1865, P. M. B. Young, was then lying at the 
point of death, in the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, far, 
far away from home, kith and kindred. True to his knightly in- 
stincts, when satisfied that he had a mortal hurt, unwilling to be a 
charge to his numerous friends or for them to witness his agony, he 
went to die alone! True to his proud spirit, he had wrested for a 
long time with the dread disease, while his intimates, looking only at 
that grand physique — " the typical cavalryman " — whenever a spasm 
of pain would contract his handsome countenance, recollecting what 
they had gone through together, would accuse him of becoming a 
hypochondriac, and he, with a merry laugh, would retort: "My 
heart has gone back on me." He who was so well qualified to have 

The Beau Sabreur of Georgia. 147 

made a happy home — who was one of the most lovable of men — as 
we have served with him know — died in a New York hospital hun- 
dreds of miles from his beloved Georgia. 


His history was our history, his glorious record ours. He was 
distinctly a creation of "The Cobb Legion," and they felt that in- 
describable attachment that men feel fur comrades who have bled 
with them on more than one hard contested field. 

Though General Thomas R. R. Cobb had organized the legion, 
he was a noted man in Georgia before it was formed. Though Col- 
onel William G. Deloney was our " Chevalier Bayard, " sans peur 
et sans reproche, he fell at the zenith of his glory, September, 1863. 
Though General G. J. Wright was as brave and gallant as man 
could be, yet they all were older; we expected much of them. 

It was not the same feeling we had for Pierce Young. As Colonel 
Baker, of the 1st North Carolina Cavalry, told him at Middletown, 
Maryland, September 12, 1862, where, after a hard day's fight, in- 
censed at some slighting remark that Baker had made of a charge 
of " The Cobb Legion," he defied him to mortal combat then and 
there, ' ' on horseback or on foot, with sabre or pistol, or any way he 
would fight." "Why, Pierce, you are nothing but a boy, you for- 
get yourself; I came here to fight Yankees, not as good a soldier as 
you." Unmindful* of the emphatic berating of his junior officer, 
conscious of his own courage, demonstrated in many a fierce en- 
counter, instead of arresting him for disrespect, he laughed at the 
boyishness displayed even before his own regiment, who, with the 
older men of Young's Regiment, always so regarded the affront. 
Far from being perfect, we forgave his faults, even as a father would 
those of a spoiled child — for a spoiled child in many of his actions 
was Pierce Young, even to the day of his death. 

A West Point cadet, he promptly resigned on the secession of 
Georgia, and offered his services to the Confederacy, and was as- 
signed to duty as adjutant to Colonel Thomas R. R. Cobb, then 
organizing his legion "on the peninsular." Being a born soldier 
and with his military training, it was easy for him to infuse into that 
command, then consisting of six companies of infantry, four of cav- 
alry and the afterwards famous Troup Artillery of Athens, the esprit 
dn corps they were so noted for. 

148 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


Although in nearly all the engagements from Yorktown, around 
Richmond, Manassas and on the march into Maryland, it was at 
Burkitsville, September 13, 1862, "The Cobb Legion, Georgia Cav- 
alry," first asserted its individuality. 

With nine skeleton companies, reduced byethe casualties of months 
of hard fighting and marching to less than one-fourth we had started 
with, Young was ordered and led the sabre charge against McClel- 
lan's advance guard on that road, hurrying to the relief of " Har- 
per's Ferry," hurling back two of their crack regiments, the 8th 
Illinois and 3d Indiana cavalry, upon the infantry of the "Army of 
the Potomac." The picture can never be forgotten by those who 
witnessed it. We had to charge down a steep, rocky lane by twos 
between stone fences, from whose shelter their dismounted men were 
firing on us, over a narrow plateau, where we deployed into a com- 
pany front at the run. The Dougherty Hussars of Albany (who 
were cut to pieces), leading the Fulton Dragoons, of Atlanta, next, 
then the Richmond Hussars, his favorites always, and as we passed 
Colonel Young, he was lying, surrounded by dead and wounded men 
and horses, in front of a little country church, his dead horse pin- 
ning him to the ground. As we came by at full speed, his clarion 
voice rang out clear and distinct above our yells, "Give 'em hell! 
boys, give 'em hell!" waving his plumed hat over that handsome 
face illumined by the fierce excitement of the charge. We crossed 
the ditch where lay First Lieutenant Marshall and the brave eighty- 
year-old Sergeant Barksdale, with his snowy beard almost to his 
waist, his sabre at the guard, the ball through his forehead, then up 
the steep hill to the stone fences on the crest, from whence the dis- 
mounted sharp-shooters vied with the mounted men in seeking the 
protection of their infantry line of battle. So P. M. B. Young's and 
the "Cobb's Legion's" reputation was established. So exciting 
was the charge, that General Hampton, who was always well up in 
front, snatched off his overcoat and throwing it to his son, with, 
"Take care of my overcoat, Preston," drew his sabre and dashed 
into the fray, followed by that brave boy, who pitched the overcoat 
into a fence corner, as he " had come to Maryland to fight Yankees, 
and not to carry his father's overcoat." 


At Brandy Station the 9th of June, 1863, did Colonel Young re- 

The Beau Sabreur of Georgia. 149 

capture Stuart's headquarters and check the triumphant advance of 
Pleasanton, who had driven back all our cavalry until they met the 
" Cobb Legion." " I do not claim that this was the turning point 
of the day." (P. M. B. Young's Report, Records of War of the 
Rebellion, Vol. xxii, p. 732.) As Major Heros Von Borke, the cele- 
brated Prussian officer on General Stuart's staff, said to General 
Stuart in my presence: "Young's regiment made the grandest 
charge I see on either continent," and Brandy Station is considered 
the greatest cavalry battle of the war. 

Wounded again while attempting to lead two regiments of infantry 
in the charge, which had been sent to reinforce him, he being in com- 
mand of Hampton's brigade, August 1, 1863, (but although one of 
the color-bearers rushed out waving his flag following Colonel Young, ) 
both regiments laid down, preferring "to fire lying down" than to 
follow the cavalry colonel, whose conspicuous uniform, commanding 
presence and emphatic pleadings for them to "forward," in tones 
that " could be heard a mile," was too fair a mark for the hundreds 
who were shooting at him, and he was shot through, and once more 
promoted for "gallantry on the field." 


Of his saving the commissary and quartermaster trains of the 
Army of Northern Virginia at Culpeper, October 9, 1863, by a lucky 
inspiration (bluff the boys called it), by covering the hills with dis- 
mounted men as infantry, and one piece of artillery to the hill, which 
"to keep a shooting," and keeping the brigade building fires all 
night and his band playing music, to make the Yankees believe 
there was a corps instead of the few hundred men he had for 
" duty," is too well told by John Esten Cook for me but to incident- 
ally mention. For the third time was he wounded, and as usual in 
displaying conspicuous gallantry, for which he was promoted major- 
general of cavalry. 

Sherman's forces threatening the powder mills at Augusta, Beau- 
regard, Bragg, the Governors of Georgia and South Carolina 
appealed for reinforcements from the Army of Northern Virginia. 
"Major-General P. M. B. Young, with a division ( ?), consisting of 
900 dismounted cavalrymen, under the immediate command of Cap- 
tain F. E. Eve, was all that General Robert E. Lee could spare — 
and General Young was selected, hoping his men could be mounted 
and he assist General Wheeler in opposing General Kilpatrick, 
whose brigade he had defeated at Brandy Station with the sabre, 

150 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

and at the supreme moment of his supposed victory, in the most 
celebrated cavalry battle of the war. On their arrival in Augusta, 
without rest, they rushed to Green's Cut, to meet Kilpatrick's raid, 
who was then threatening Waynesboro, where Wheeler met and 
defeated him. 


Two hundred and fifty of Young's men were there mounted, and 
under Captain Eve were marched hastily to Pocotaligo, and from 
Pocotoligo to Tullifini, Coosawhatchie, Salkehatchie, Izard's Farm, 
Argyle Island. The crack of the rifles of Young's men — for the 
remainder of his division had been hurried forward (being unable to 
mount them) by rail, under the command of " that hard old fighter," 
the gallant Major Puckett, was heard in nearly all of " the bloody 
and obstinate fighting along the rice dams," during the seige of Sa- 
vannah. A complimentary order from Lieutenant-General Hardee 
" but for the gallant conduct of General Young's command, I could 
not have held Savannah so long " — was read by Adjutant-General 
Church before us at Hey ward's Farm, soon after the evacuation. 
He was without a peer as a cavalry officer from Georgia, and was 
one of Stuart's as well as Hampton's, most trusted lieutenants. 
That the choice should have fallen upon him, demonstrates what the 
War Department, General Lee, aye, President Davis, thought of him. 
Hampton, Butler, Rosser, Young — think of that immortal quartette! 
Of their commanding presence, as they rode at the head of your 
columns, of the imperishable glory they gained — and that you helped 
make. Is it not a glorious legacy to bequeath your children ? Does 
any one think this fulsome praise ? Then let him or them search the 
records of the War of the Rebellon, and see what P. M. B. Young 
is accredited with during that war. We know the half has never 
been told, or ever will be. 


It would take volumes to write all we know of him outside of what 
history records. His political standing during the gloomy days of 
reconstruction — as a Congressman, as United States minister at for- 
eign courts, as a diplomat — is green in the minds of the present gen- 
eration. A social favorite, he has been as much petted by the women 
as spoiled by the men, for there was a strong personal magnetism 
that was hard to resist about his chivalric presence and courtly bear- 
ing. To you, descendants of Confederate soldiers, do I cite his 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 151 

eventful life as a glorious example for you to emulate. An unknown 
cadet, who, by meritorious deeds and gallantry on the battlefield, 
that his numerous wounds attested, was promoted to major-general 
of cavalry in less than four years. This is his record as a soldier. 
As a civilian, elected soon after the war and serving several terms as 
Congressman, the wisdom of this selection being confirmed by his 
appointment by the National Government as their fit representative 
in foreign lands during the only two Democratic administrations since 
the civil war. "Our Confederate Brigadiers" die, but when their 
mortal remains have been long mouldering in the dust they will live 
forever in history and in tradition, and children's children learn with 
their earliest breath to lisp the names of the great chieftains of the 
South, and with their youngest emotions to admire and emulate their 
illustrious example. Amidst the wreath of immortelles that will gar- 
land the memory of him who was called the " Beau Sabreur of Geor- 
gia," the most noted cavalry officer of your State, and one the most 
celebrated in either army, North or South, we desire to contribute 
this leaflet as a memento of our estimation of him who was once our 
colonel and an honorary member of this Association. 

E. J. O'Connor, 
N. K. Butler, 

F. E. Eve, 


[From the Raleigh, N. C, News and Observer, April n, 1897.] 


Organized in 1861, as the 13th Regiment of Volunteers. 


Upon the secession of North Carolina, May 20, 1861, the conven- 
tion passed an ordinance authorizing the raising and equipping of 
ten regiments of infantry, to be designated "State Troops," the 
said regiments to be numbered from one to ten, inclusive, in the 
order of their organization, the enlistment in the same to be made 
for and during the war. Subsequently the raising of other regiments, 
as volunteers for the term of twelve months, was authorized, these to 
be, in like manner, numbered from one up, in the order of their 
organization. This distinction between "State Troops" and volun- 

152 Southern Historical Society Po.joers. 

teers was kept up until the re-organization under the general Con- 
script Act, which went into effect on the 17th of May, 1862, when 
the order of numbering the regiment was changed by adding the 
volunteer regiment, as originally numbered, to the number of " State 
Troops," by which the 1st regiment of volunteers became the nth, 
and the others, in like manner, ten numbers beyond those they first 
bore. The re-arrangement, therefore, changed -the old 13th into the 
23rd. Under the ordinance referred to, ten companies from the fol- 
lowing counties, viz: one from each, Richmond, Anson, Montgomery, 
Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and three from Granville, 
were entered in the official records of the adjutant-general at Raleigh, 
as the 13th Regiment Volunteers. The several companies were or- 
dered to rendezvous at Garysburg, Northampton county, and the 
line officers thereof directed to hold an election for field officers on 
Wednesday, the 10th of July, 1861. At the election so held John 
F. Hoke, of Lincoln, at the time being Adjutant-General of the 
State, was elected Colonel; John W. Leak, of Richmond, Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, and Daniel H. Christie, at that time of Granville 
county, but originally from Virginia, was elected major. Isaac J. 
Young, of Granville, was the first adjutant of the regiment. 

During the war the office of colonel of the regiment was succeeded 
to respectively by D. H. Christie, commissioned May 10, 1862; 
Charles C. Blacknall, August 15, 1863; William S. Davis, of War- 
ren, a transfer from the 12th North Carolina, who was commissioned 
in October, 1864. That of lieutenant-colonel was succeeded to by 
Robert D. Johnston, of Lincoln, commissioned May, 1862, who was 
promoted to a brigadier generalship in July, 1863. That of major 
by Ed. J. Christian, of Montgomery, May, 1862, and by Charles C. 
Blacknall, May, 1862 — more than a year before he became colonel 
of the regiment. The office of adjutant, subsequent to original 
organization, was held respectively by Vines E. Turner, of Granville, 
commissioned May, 1862; Junius French, of Yadkin, June, 1863; 
Thomas F. Powell, of Richmond, July, 1863, and by Lawrence T. 
Everett, of Richmond, May, 1864. The first quartermaster of the 
regiment was Edwin G. Cheatham, of Granville, commissioned July, 
1861; succeeded by W. I. Everett, of Richmond, in the spring of 
1862; by Vines E. Turner, June, 1863. The first commissary was 
James F. Johnston, of Lincoln. The first chaplain, Theophilus W. 
Moore, a Methodist, of Person, who later in the war was succeeded 
by Rev. Berry, a Baptist, of Lincoln. The names of Robert J. 
Hicks, of Granville, surgeon; Dr. Caldwell, of Mecklenburg, assist- 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 153 

ant surgeon, and William F. Gill, of Granville, sergeant-major, com- 
plete, as far as we know accurately, the field and staff of the regiment. 
The companies of the regiment and their commanding chiefs were 
as follows: 

Company A — Captain William F. Marllee, Anson. 
Company B — Captain George W. Seagle, Lincoln. 
Company C — Captain C. J. Cochran, Montgomery. 
Company D — Captain Louis H. Webb, Richmond. 
Company E — Captain James H. Horner, Granville. 
Company F — Captain M. F. McCorkle, Catawba. 
Company G — Captain Charles C. Blacknall, Granville. 
Company H — Captain E. M. Fairis, Gaston. 
Company I — Captain Rums Amis, Granville. 
Company K — Captain Robert D. Johnston, Lincoln. 

On Wednesday, July 17, 1861, Colonel Hoke, with seven compa- 
nies of the regiment, left the "Camp of Instruction " at Garysburg, 
N. C. , for Virginia, leaving three companies, viz: "C," "D" and 
"H" behind, because of the much sickness (measles) among the 
men. These seven companies reached Manassas Junction on the 21st 
of July, while the battle was raging, but took no part therein as they 
were not ordered to the field. On August 5th, the three remaining 
companies, under command of Major Christie, broke camp at Garys- 
burg. After several days of delay at Richmond, Va. , for want of 
transportation facilities, the three companies were enabled to reach 
their destination and join the regiment which was then in quarters 
at Camp Wigfall, near the late battle-field. For several weeks en- 
camped at this place, the regiment suffered exceedingly from sick- 
ness. By the surgeon's statement the sick-call at one time num- 
bered 240, while fifty-seven of the cases were typhoid fever. The 
mortality was large. From camp to camp the command was moved 
until it went into winter-quarters on Bull Run in December, where it 
remained, with only such changes in position as the exigencies 
of the situation in outpost and picket duty required, until the 8th 
day of March, 1862. Meantime the regiment had been incorporated 
into a brigade with the 5th N. C. " State Troops," Colonel Duncan 
K. McRae; the 20th Georgia, Colonel Smith; the 24th Virginia, 
Colonel Jubal A. Early, and the 38th Virginia, of which brigade 
Colonel Early being the ranking officer, he was placed in command, 
subsequently being commissioned as brigadier-general. 

In the fall and winter of 1861 numerous changes in the officers of 

164 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

the line of the regiment had taken place, which perhaps it is not 
material to note in detail. The winter was a severe one, and great 
was the mortality among the troops from pneumonia, typhoid fever, 
and other diseases. The old camps were abandoned on the 8th of 
March, 1862, and at daylight the regiment moved out, throwing 
away tents and camp equippage; sum total of first days' march, one 
and a half miles from starting point, progress being checked by con- 
fusion of orders. Early was now acting as major-general, in com- 
mand of the fourth division. Not until sunset of the 9th did the 
grand column move again, reaching Manassas Junction that night. 
An immense amount of property was destroyed, as the army com- 
manded by General Joseph E. Johnston was to change base to the 
peninsula. A very carnival, restrained to some extent by the power 
of military discipline, reigned that night at the junction. The sol- 
diers got rich with plunder; depots of supplies and the express office 
were fired and barrels of whiskey opened at the head, poured their 
contents in streams upon the ground. A rough soldier was observed 
with six canteens of whiskey around his neck, and, as if he " wept 
such waste to see," actually wading in^a puddle of the stuff while in 
a ditty, tuneless but gay, he whistled his regrets over departed 

Our army at Manassas, numbering less than 50,000, was con- 
fronted by a host of more than 100,000. General McClellan, styled 
through the favoring pride of his friends, "the Little Napoleon," 
fell upon the expedient of transferring his troops by the way of the 
Potomac and Chesapeake Bay to Yorktown, anticipating an easy 
victory over the small army of Magruder, and then "on to Rich- 
mond " by the Peninsular route. This move on the part of Mc- 
Clellan, though conducted in great secrecy, was not long hidden 
from the eagle eye of Johnston ; hence the retreat from Manassas, 
and his resolve to reinforce Magruder and take command of the en- 
tire force at Yorktown. With the other commands the regiment 
reached Yorktown on the 8th of April, '62, a stop having been 
made on the south side of the Rappahannock of* several weeks du- 
ration, to await the full development of McClellan' s plans. At York- 
town, the trying duty of service in the trenches began. On the 17th, 
after nine days behind the breastworks, the boys had their first ex- 
perience with cannon balls and bombshells. The picket line was 
situated between opposing batteries, three-fourths of a mile apart, 
and more than one shell exploded in uncomfortable proximity to 
them. When the first shot was fired directly at the position occupied 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 155 

by the 23d regiment, the writer was on duty in the rifle pits as ser- 
geant in command, some 200 yards in front of our breastworks. 
Well is remembered the "sensation" produced by the first shell 
that fanned the cheeks of ye innocent braves who occupied those 
rifle-pits, and particularly the moving effect wrought upon a certain 
tongue-tied individual whose deportment now, as contrasted with 
previous pretensions, presented a striking consistency with the spirit 
of the ancient ballad: 

" Naught to him possesses greater charms 
Upon a Sunday or a holiday, 
Than a snug chat of war and war's alarms, 
While people fight in Turkey, far away," 

for, with a precipitate bound, the tongue-tied warrior made tracks 
for the breastworks, exclaiming, in answer to remonstrances and 
threats of court-martial: "Dam 'fi come 'ere to be hulled out this 
way when I can't see who's a shootin' at me " — using the term hulled 
instead of shelled as synonomous, though he hardly thought of it at 
the time. At a period a little later in the service such conduct would 
have been most severely punished, but it is not remembered if " Dam 
'fi " got more than a sharp reprimand and orders for an immediate 
return to his post. If he ever afterwards flinched, we were not in- 
formed of it. He was killed at Gettysburg. The term of service at 
Yorktown was not at all irksome, nor was it unmarked by occasional 
diversion from the tread-mill routine of duty. About the quaint old 
town were many points of interest that awakened patriotic contem- 
plation. Soldiers would, as relaxation from duty permitted, repair 
to the spot, marked by a marble slab and a half mile from the town, 
where Cornwallis gave up his sword to Washington; and, standing 
on the consecrated ground, they would breathe the prayer that here 
may America's second revolution, as did the first, have an ending. 
But, alas! even then, as if in derision of prophecy and hope, there 
hung upon the horizon a cloud — not yet comparatively bigger than 
a man's hand, but which was destined to increase in proportions and 
intensity, and ere long to burst and scatter destruction and death 
over all the land. 

On the night of the 3d of May Yorktown was evacuated. Twelve 
miles out in the suburbs of the ancient town of Williamsburg the 
battle of the 5th of May occurred, rendered necessary by the too 
eager pursuit of the enemy. From a point on the road several miles 
beyond the town towards Richmond, Early's Brigade — now com- 

156 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

posed of the 5th and 23d North Carolina, the 24th Virginia and the 
2d Florida Battalion — was ordered back to aid Long-street in resist- 
ing the furious attack. At the moment of our reaching the field the 
bloody drama was going on in full view of the town. Much was 
said at the time and afterwards of the part the 23d Regiment took in 
that battle. The writer can only give facts from a personal stand- 
point, as recalled by him, a private then in ranks, conscious too of a 
liability to error in an understanding of the existing facts. The 
design was a charge by Early's Brigade against a strong position 
manned by Hancock's Brigade, on the enemy's right. When drawn 
up in line for the forward movement, General Early rode the length 
of the brigade, using, in that fine-toned voice of his, something like 
the words: " Boys, you must do your duty." The line had steadily 
advanced a 100 yards or more when a body of thick forest of trees 
and undergrowth confronted the 2;;d, into which the regiment 
marched, the line at once becoming irregular and more or less jum- 
bled by reason of the natural obstacles to its progress. At this 
moment General D. H. Hill appeared, mounted, in our front, and 
saying sharply to the men, now confused in ranks and each one com- 
manding his comrades: " Hush your infernal noise." In an instant 
more the right wing of the brigade, having greatly the advantage of 
ground in marching, as we believe, and thus coming first in view of 
the enemy's battery, received their galling fire, and was hurled back 
by a fury of shot and shell irresistible by mortal force. The 5th 
North Carolina made a gallant but fruitless charge, losing many val- 
uable lives, and the 23d did not support it at the critical moment. 
That moment was of the briefest possible span; like a sea wave 
against the sea wall, the charge bounded back instantly. Colonel 
D. K. McRae, of the 5th North Carolina, alleged that the 23d was 
inexcusably derelict in duty, and that its colonel halted the regiment 
in those woods without authority. Colonel Hoke, on the contrary, 
maintained that General Early gave the order to halt. Whether the 
command of " halt " and " lie down " was given to the 23d a second 
sooner than the batteries opened on the assaulting columns, would 
be hard to tell, for the action of the 23d in halting and lying down 
appeared to be about the same moment a portion of the assaulting 
force was rushing pell-mell back upon its line in the woods. It was 
all the work of a few minutes, and the brigade, chagrined at defeat 
and mourning the loss of many gallant spirits, fell back in order. 
Only four or five men in the 23d were wounded, and this by random 
bullets. ' 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 157 

General Joseph E. Johnston, in a conversation with the writer sev- 
eral years after the war, placed the responsibility for this charge upon 
General D. H. Hill. He said he did not order it made, but per- 
mitted it only, however, after repeated requests from General Hill. 
The enemy seemed content to hold his own, without much further 
effort to advance his line as the shades of night came on. During 
the night and early dawn of the 6th the grand retreat was resumed. 
The 6th of May found the army on the march without a mouthful to 
eat, as the wagons had gone far ahead towards Richmond. On the 
evening of the 9th the Chickahominy was reached, and here the 
wagons were overtaken, much, to the delight of drooping hearts and 
hungry stomachs. On this day, while bivouacked on the banks of 
the river, the reorganization of companies in the 23d Regiment took 
place, and new regimental officers were elected, as follows: Daniel 
H. Christie, Colonel; Robert D. Johnston, former captain of Com- 
pany K, Lieutenant-Colonel; Ed. J. Christian, former lieutenant of 
Company C, Major; Vines E. Turner, former lieutenant of Company 
G, Adjutant. 

The battle of Seven Pines was fought on the 31st of May, 1862. 
Here the 23d received the first real " baptism of fire." The attack 
was made by General Johnston with a view of capturing or destroy- 
ing two divisions of the enemy which had been thrown forward to 
the southern side of the Chickahominy. The brunt of the fight was 
borne by D. H. Hill's Division, to which the 23d belonged. Sam- 
uel Garland, Jr., a Virginian, now commanded the brigade. The 
four brigades of Garland, Rodes, Anderson and Rains stormed the 
enemy's camp and captured everything as it stood, with twelve pieces 
of artillery, while General Casey's headquarters and official papers 
fell into the hands of the brave Confederates. At this point of attack 
the victory was certainly complete; and if equal progress had been 
made to the right and left of the centre, then might General John- 
ston's anticipations have been fully realized in the capture or destruc- 
tion of the two divisions, with which purpose in view, as already 
indicated, the attack had been made. 

It is not our intention to attempt a studied description of any bat- 
tles, nor, indeed, is it essential to the purpose and limited province 
of this sketch. Besides, it is a difficult matter, even from the testi- 
mony of eye-witnesses and participants and with complete data in 
hand, to describe the position of any one regiment relative to that of 
another in battle. And again, with reference to true Confederate 

158 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

soldiers, what is said of the fighting qualities and achievements of 
one command may, with proper exception and qualification, be said 
of another — for indeed were they ' ' Romans-all. ' ' We would, to 
compass our wishes, recall the scenes of each battle and impart to 
them a descriptive glow that might, in some degree at least, measure 
with the grave reality at the time they were enacted. Time inevitably 
casts a dimness over any event, however dear to the heart its memo- 
ries may be; and we cannot hope at the best to give to those scenes 
more than a feeble semblance of what they really were. We would, 
were it practicable, give experiences in ''words that burn" to the 
high-born purposes and resolves that, stirred the hearts of those gal- 
lant spirits who fell in the discharge of duty, and around the critical 
hour of their fall would we throw a halo of glory that, reaching for- 
ward, might consecrate their names for all time to come. But the 
task is above our skill, and we must be content in the hope that we 
shall be able to place on record a simple and true statement of some 
of their deeds, with regrets that the whole thrilling story can never 
be told. 

At Seven Pines the natural conditions were anything but favor- 
able to an attack on the enemy. Heavy rains had fallen, and the 
earth everywhere, was sloppy and boggy. On the firing of three 
big guns as a signal, the line of attack moved out and across a field 
of wheat towards the enemy. After crossing the field, the 23d found 
in its front, a swamp thick with undergrowth and tangled vines, arid 
about waist deep in water. At this point was met the fire from the 
opposing batteries supported by musketry, and many of our boys fell 
in the water. Some, doubtless, were drowned, whose wounds were 
not necessarily fatal. 

Beyond this swamp was encountered a net work of abattis — hun- 
dred of tree laps with the ends of limbs pointed and sharpened. 
Here many a brave boy met his fate without flinching. The right 
under Huger, the centre under Longstreet and D. H. Hill, and the 
left under G. W. Smith, were pressing steadily forward. A Northern 
writer, from this point of view, describes the scene thus: 

11 Our shot tore their ranks wide open, and shattered them asunder 
in a manner frightful to witness, but they closed up and came on as 
steadily as English veterans. When they got within 400 yards, we 
closed our case shot and opened on them with canister. Such de- 
struction I never witnessed. At each discharge great gaps were 

The Twenty -third North Carolina Infantry* 159 

made in their ranks. * * * But they at once closed and came 
steadily on never halting, never wavering-, right through the woods, 
over the fence, through the field, right up to our guns, and sweeping 
everything before them, captured our artillery and cut our whole di- 
vision to pieces." 

At every other point than the centre the attack seems to have been 
barren of any material results. Starting in well, yet the assault on 
the enemy's left flank failed, because, by reason of the swollen con- 
dition of the water, General Huger was unable to move his division 
to the proper place. At the same time the difficulties that impeded 
the advance of General G. W. Smith, was scarcely less formidable, 
and he failed to break the enemy's right flank, though desperate and 
bloody efforts were made. According to the plan of attack, Gen- 
erals D. H. Hill and Longstreet assailed the centre of the enemy's 
line of entrenchment; and it was at this point — notwithstanding the 
boggy condition of the ground and the great impediment of tangled 
undergrowth — that the attack was successful, and the flight of the 
enemy continuous from one line of works upon another for a distance 
of two miles, when night put an end to the conflict. Among the 
killed at Seven Pines was Major Edwin J. Christian, elected at the 
reorganization about two weeks before; Captain C. C. Blacknall, of 
of Company G, then became Major of the regiment, Isaac J. Young, 
succeeding to the Captaincy of Company G. Major Christian was 
a native of Montgomery county — a gallant soldier, while in all rela- 
tions of his life he had borne a high and honorable name. Captain 
Ambrose Scarborough, of Company C, though written as among the 
killed in the battle, fell on the^afternoon preceding while leading a 
reconnoitering party. A native also of Montgomery county, his ca- 
reer had been alike honorable in peace and war. The officers 
wounded in the battle were, Lieutenant-Colonel R. D. Johnston, 
Captain William Johnston, Captain I. J. Young, Lieutenant McDon- 
ald. Lieutenants Luria and Knott, both of Granville, were killed. 
The killed of privates and non-commissioned officers numbered 
thirty-five, while seventy-eight was the number of the same ranks 
wounded. These figures are taken from Moore's Roster, and we be- 
lieve, are about the actual casualties. Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston, 
was wounded in the arm, face and neck, had his horse killed under 
him, and was shot down within fifty feet of where the breastwork s 
and artillery were. From divers causes, sickness mainly, the regi- 
ment was able to go into action at Seven Pines, with only about two 
hundred and twenty-five men, according to the statement of Captain 

160 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

A. T. Cole, who commanded Company D after the reorganization. 
General Johnston having been badly- wounded at Seven Pines, Gen- 
eral Robert E. Lee was now in command. After Seven Pines, the 
boys went into camp near Richmond, and here several weeks were 
passed in drilling. The Federal line of battle stretched along the 
Chickahominy a distance of nine miles, the right wing resting upon 
the northern bank of the stream, and extending a short distance 
above the village of Mechanicsville, six miles from Richmond. 

The fighting at Mechanicsville, on the evening of the 26th of June, 
opened the ball that resulted in the demoralization of McClellan's 
forces, and his rapid retreat to the shelter of his gun boats in James 
river. According to General Lee's plan of attack, Jackson threw 
his force upon the right flank of the enemy, whilst A. P. and D. H. 
Hill pressed them vigorously at other points. Their breastworks 
were soon carried, and the enemy fell back one mile to a stronger 
line of works, from which position A. P. Hill failed to dislodge them. 
Night came on, but an artillery contest was still maintained until a 
late hour. Next day at dawn the Confederates renewed the attack, 
after a bloody conflict of two hours, the enemy, realizing that the 
mighty " Stonewall " had got in their rear, abandoned their position, 
destroying ammunition, &c, and fell back to a yet stronger line of 
works. In fact they had three lines of battle here, each protected 
by breastworks extending from a point on the left near Gaines' Mill, 
to a point on the right beyond Cold Harbor. In the attack on this 
position, the division of D. H. Hill — to which the 23d belonged — 
was the first to become engaged. When the battle became general, 
and the whole of Jackson's and Longstreet's corps had come into 
action, a charge was ordered and the first line of works carried — 
then the second line, then the third; and now McClellan's army was 
on the wing and running for dear life. It has been a disputed point 
between Confederate commands as to which was entitled to the glory 
of first mounting the enemy's works at Cold Harbor. General Lee 
officially paid high compliment to D. H. Hill and his division in this 
battle. Northern writers admit that their right wing gave way first, 
and it was at this point that D. H. Hill's charge was directed. 
McClellan's defeated army fell back upon Malvern Hill, a strongly 
entrenched position, where he managed to concentrate his forces and 
park his three hundred pieces of artillery. Here again the division 
of D. H. Hill opened the fight by a vigorous attack upon the 
enemy's right. Through some misunderstanding, the attack 
upon the left, was not promptly made, and from the fact the 

The Twenty -third North Carolina Infantry. 161 

enemy drew reinforcements from their left and threw them over 
to the right to oppose General Hill's advance — the fire from the gun- 
boats in the river at the same time being directed so as to guard 
against probable approach upon their left. The first line was broken 
and gave way before the daring troops of Hill's division, but not 
being properly supported to meet the accumulating odds against 
them, the position gained had to be abandoned. Magruder's attack 
upon the enemy's left was not made until near the close of the day, 
and, though desperate efforts were made at this point to break the 
Federal line, no material advantage had been gained when darkness 
closed the struggle. The brave Confederates had been baffled, but 
not beaten. Resting upon their arms that night, they intended to 
renew the attack next morning, but during the night the enemy had 
stolen away, leaving the dead and wounded on the field. They had 
sought and found protection under a powerful fleet of gun-boats at 
Harrison's Landing, and this closed the series of "Seven Days' 
Battles Around Richmond." 

The greatest loss sustained by the 23rd in the seven days' of fight- 
ing was at Malvern Hill. According to Captain Cole, of Co. D, the 
number of killed in this battle was about thirty; the "Roster" re- 
cords the loss not so large, the number of wounded, by Captain 
Cole, was estimated at about seventy-five. The number of the regi- 
ment engaged in this closing fight was between 150 and 175, officers 
and privates. Sergeant-Major W. F. Gill, of Granville, was killed 
at Malvern Hill; Captain Cole, of Co. D, and Lieutenant Munday, 
of " K, " were wounded. Adjutant Turner, of Granville, was wounded 
in the fight at Gaines' Mill, and Captain Young of the same county 
wounded at Malvern Hill. 

After Malvern Hill several weeks of quiet were passed near Rich- 
mond. No further movement was attempted by McClellan on the 
Peninsula. The next movement of the Washington government 
was to appoint John Pope, the man who had ' ' always seen only the 
backs of his enemies," to take command of the army. With a 
"flourish of trumpets " he began his preparations of threatening 
Richmond from the north, which change of tactics was promptly 
apprehended by General Lee. Of Jackson's flank movement, by 
which he managed to strike Pope at a point where he least expected, 
and after a sanguinary conflict at Cedar Run put him to flight, win- 
ning large trophies and capturing many prisoners, it is unnecessary 
to speak. This initiatory victory over Pope led to active measures 
in Washington to concentrate all the available Federal force on the 

162 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

upper Rappahannock with which to reinforce Pope. Meanwhile, 
General Lee, leaving D. H. Hill's division behind to watch the 
movements of McClellan, marched on the 13th of August with the 
main body of his army for Gordonsville, north of Richmond. Hill's 
command followed in the latter part of August, consequently reach- 
ing Manassas in time only to view the green plains strewn with the 
blue and gray dead, the living Federals having fled in confusion 
towards Washington. Such was the situation which marked the 
result of the three days' fighting known as "Second Manassas." 

" Maryland, My Maryland! " With what bounding hearts did our 
boys climb up the opposite shores of the Potomac, looking confi- 
dently for the support and encouragement of the Maryland people, 
but alas, such hopes were doomed to disappointment! 

The army rested at Frederick City, Md., from the 6th until the 
10th of September. The first engagement on Maryland soil was at 
South Mountain Gap, on the main road from Frederick City to 
Boonsborough, along which the Federal army was directing its 
march. Here D. H. Hill's divison, on the 14th, successfully held in 
check the main body of McClellan' s army thus enabling Jackson to 
march to the Virginia side and capture Harper's Ferry, while Lee 
was conducting his troops preparatory to the coming struggle at 
Sharpsburg. In the action at South Mountain, known in Southern 
history as the battle of Boonsborough, the 23rd Regiment bore a 
prominent part, and it was in this fight that General Garland, the 
brigade commander, was killed. It is well to recur to the report of 
this battle, as furnished by General D. H. Hill to the Century Maga- 
zine of May, 1886, for facts and observations, we quote: 

" In the retirement of Lee's army from Frederick to Hagerstown 
and Boonsborough, my division constituted the rear-guard. It con- 
sisted of five brigades (Wise's brigade being left behind), and after 
the arrival at Boonsborough, was intrusted with guarding the wagon- 
trains and packs of artillery belonging to the whole army." 

It was to save Lee's trains and artillery that the battle was fought, 
and not to prevent the advance of McClellan, as was believed in the 
North from an exaggerated idea about the number of Confederates 
engaged. General Hill says: 

' ' My division was very small and was embarrassed with the wagon- 
trains and artillery of the whole army, save such as Jackson had 
taken with him." 

It must be remembered that the army now before McClellan had 
been constantly marching and fighting since the 25th of June. It 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 163 

had fought McClellan's army from Richmond to the James, and then 
turned round and fought Pope's army, reinforced by McClellan's, 
from the Rapidan to the Potomac. The order excusing barefooted 
men from marching into Maryland had sent thousands to the rear. 
Divisions that had become smaller than brigades were when the fight- 
ing first began; brigades had become smaller than regiments, and 
regiments had become smaller than companies. 

On the morning of the 14th, having fixed his lines of battle, Gen- 
eral Hill relates that, accompanied by Major Ratchford of his staff, 
he was talking with a mountaineer who stood near his cabin, sur- 
rounded by his children. The mountaineer supposing that the Gen- 
eral and the Major were Federal officers, was giving information 
about roads and " rebels." "Just then a shell came hurling through 
the woods, and a little girl began crying. Having a little one at 
home of about the same size, I could not forbear from stopping a 
moment to say a few soothing words to the frightened child. * * 
The firing had aroused that prompt and gallant soldier, General 
Garland, and his men were under arms when I reached the pike. I 
explained the situation briefly to him, directed him to sweep through 
the woods, reach the road and hold it at all hazards, as the safety of 
Lee's large train depended upon its being held. He went off in 
high spirits, and I never saw him again. I never knew a truer, 
braver, better man." 

Garland's force was five regiments of infantry and Bondurant's 
battery of artillery, his infantry force being a little less than a thou- 
sand men, all North Carolinians. The five regiments were: The 5th, 
placed on the right; the 12th, placed as a support; the 23d, posted 
behind a low stone wall on the left of the 5th; then came the 20th 
and 30th. From the nature of the ground and the duty to be per- 
formed, the regiments were not in contact with each other, and the 
30th was 250 yards to the left of the 20th. Fifty skirmishers of the 
5th North Carolina soon encountered the 23d Ohio, deployed as 
skirmishers under Lieutenant-Colonel R. B. Hayes, afterward Presi- 
dent of the United States, and the action began at nine A. M. be- 
tween Cox's division and Garland's brigade. General Hill then 
gives the forces, respectively, engaged, and concludes that Cox's 
infantry, artillery and cavalry, reached 3,000, while Garland's oppos- 
ing brigade numbered "scarce a thousand." Lieutenant-Colonel 
Ruffin, of the 13th North Carolina, later judge on the Supreme Court 
bench of this State, was with General Garland when the latter re- 
ceived his fatal wound. The effort of the enemy seemed to be to 

164 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

turn the 13th, and Colonel Ruffin in vain urged Gen. Garland to go 
to the other part of his line. With him " the post of danger was the 
post of honor. " Judge Ruffin, in a letter to General Hill, stated 
that he had just told General Garland to get to a safer position from 
which to superintend his brigade when he received the mortal wound. 
Says General Hill: "Upon the fall of Garland, Colonel McRae, of 
the 5th North Carolina Regiment, assumed command, and ordered 
the two regiments on the left to close in to the right." This order 
was not received, or found impossible of execution. The main at- 
tack was on the 23d North Carolina behind the stone-wall (Colonel 
Blacknall, its commander, was then on sick furlough). General Hill 
continues: "The Federals had a plunging fire upon this regiment 
(the 23d North Carolina), from the crest of the hill, higher than the 
wall, and only about fifty yards from it." 

The 1 2th Ohio made a charge upon Bondurant's battery, and drew 
it ofl, failing, however, to capture it. The 30th Ohio advanced di- 
rectly upon the stone-wall in their front, while a regiment moved 
upon the 23d North Carolina on each flank (a hot position for the 
23d.) The result was, " some of the 30th Ohio forced through a 
break in the wall, and bayonets and clubbed muskets were used freely 
for a few minutes. Garland's brigade, demoralized by his death and 
by the furious assault on its centre, broke now in confusion and re- 
treated behind the mountain, leaving some 200 prisoners of the 5th, 
23d and 20th North Carolina in the hands of the enemy. The bri- 
gade was too roughly handled to be of any further use that day." 

A half hour afterwards, according to General Hill, General G. B. 
Anderson, of North Carolina, arrived with "a small but fine body of 
men," and made an effort to rescue the ground lost by Garland's 
brigade, " but failed and met a serious repulse." The loss in Gar- 
land's brigade is put by General Hill at, killed and wounded 100; 
missing 200 — and in concluding the account, he says: 

" If the battle of South Mountain was fought to prevent the ad- 
vance of McClellan, it was a failure on the part of the Confederates; 
if it was fought to save Lee's trains and artillery, and to re-unite his 
scattered forces, it was a Confederate success." 

The latter view was the true one. On the 17th of September, the 
battle of Sharpsburg, as known in Southern History, was fought. 
Colonel D. K. McRae, of the 5th North Carolina, was in command 
of the brigade. The divisions of D. H. Hill and Longstreet bravely 
held the centre and right in this action. The 23d regiment here was 
able to muster but few men, comparatively, many members of the 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 165 

regiment being bare-footed and absolutely unable to keep up with 
the rapid march over the rough and rocky roads. For several days 
the ration-supply for the boys had been roasting-ears, hard-grained at 
that. At one point in this fight the brigade wavered, and it occured 
through a mistake, or an order from some one not authorized to give 
it. While the line was advancing and driving the enemy before it a 
voice was heard: " Cease firing — you are shooting your own men," 
at the same moment several hands being seen along the line waving 
. as if to indicate a sign for retreat. At this critical juncture the fire 
of the enemy in front increased, and a " run back " by the brigade 
was the consequence. No explanation was ever known for the mis- 
take, "ruse " or whatever it was. The loss of the regiment in the 
two battles of South Mountain and Sharpsburg was about 45 privates 
and non-commissioned officers wounded and 15 or 20 killed; and of 
commissioned officers from 3 to 6 wounded; none killed. Assistant 

» Surgeon Jordan was killed at South Mountain. 
General Lee awaited a revival of the attack next day, but the 
enemy declined to advance, and learning that reinforcements were 
coming forward to McClellan, who had been put in command again 
after Pope's defeat at Manassas, General Lee withdrew his forces and 
recrossed the Potomac on the night of the 18th of September, 1862. 
After returning to Virginia, the army of Lee remained for some time 
spread out in encampment from the vicinity of Martinsburg to Win- 
chester, in a country noted for productive farms, rich in choicest fruits 
of the pasture and watered by never-failing streams. The work of 
recruiting now commenced, and the effective force of the army was 
soon increased, the 23d getting its share by enlistment of conscripts 
and return of men who had been sick and wounded. After resting 
for a period of weeks along the banks of the Opequan, we find the 
regiment being moved by rapid marches to meet the enemy at Fred- 
ericksburg. The part it took at Fredericksburg was not very prom- 
inent. After the death of Garland, the brigade was commanded by 
General Alfred Iverson, a Georgian. After the battle of Sharpsburg, 
and while around Fredericksburg, General Rodes commanded the 
division. At Chancellorsville the regiment was on the extreme left, 
and was conspicuous in turning the enemy's right and accomplishing 
Hooker's defeat. Its loss was heavy at Chancellorsville. Its Major, 
C. C. Blacknall, was wounded here, and fell into the hands of the 
enemy, was confined in the old Capitol prison at Washington, at the 
time the Confederate spy, Miss Belle Boyd, was there; but was ex- 
changed in time to return to the army before Gettysburg. The loss 

166 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

in the 23d at Chancellorsville was officially reported by General 
Rodes, as 173 killed, wounded and missing. Among the killed was 
Captain James S. Knight, of Rockingham, Richmond county. 

In the Gettysburg campaign no part of the army acted a more 
important part than did the 23d North Carolina. It was engaged in 
the fight of the first day at Gettysburg, in which the brigade lost 
fifty-five per cent, in killed and wounded. The loss in this regiment 
was so great the first day, that it could not be taken into action, as 
a regiment, the succeeding days. The regiment was left without a 
commissioned officer, all being among the killed and wounded, and 
there remained but one non-commissioned officer and sixteen pri- 
vates. The Colonel, D. H. Christie, was mortally wounded. Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel R. D. Jordan was badly wounded through the lower 
jaw and neck. Captain Baskerville, of Company G, killed on the 
field. Major Blacknall, first day at Gettysburg, was disabled by a 
ball that entered his mouth, knocking out several teeth and passing 
back through the neck. On the retreat to Virginia, he was captured, 
his terrible wound having forced him to stop for rest at a farm house. 
Colonels Christie and Johnston were also captured in an ambulance, 
but were rescued by Confederate cavalry and taken to Williamsport. 
The former died on the way to Winchester. Blacknall managed to 
escape from his captors, but was taken again next morning, then 
taken to Fort McHenry, where, with other officers, he was forced to 
draw lots for the fate of being shot in retaliation for a Federal Major 
shot in Richmond. Major Blacknall drew the unlucky number, and 
was condemned to execution, but for some reason his life was spared, 
then transferred to the horrors of Johnson Island, where he spent 
the winter, returning to his home in March, 1864. Against remons- 
trances of family and friends — although a wreck now of his former 
self, by reason of wounds and hardships — he scorned to accept a 
" bomb-proof" position, but rejoined his regiment in time to go with 
Early on his truly great march on Washington. By the way, it is 
said that Melville Holman, of Colonel Blacknall' s old company in 
the 23d, was killed at a point nearer to Washington than any other 
Confederate who fell in the war. 

Now, some words as to the careers, respectively, of Christie and 
Blacknall, the latter having succeeded the former as colonel of the 

Daniel Harvey Christie was born in Frederick county, Va., March 
28, 1833. In early life he displayed a fondness for military studies, 
and was educated at a military school. He became a citizen of Hen- 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 167 

derson, Granville county, N. C, some time in 1857, taking charge 
of both the male and female schools of the town. Of the former he 
established the Henderson Military Institute. The breaking out of 
the war found him in this position. He was quick to bound into the 
ring of military life, upon which he was destined to reflect so much 
honor and glory. His first wound was received at Seven Pines. 
Again, at Cold Harbor, just after Seven Pines, he was severely 
wounded and carried from the field. Within sixty days he returned 
to the command, and devoted himself diligently to the work of re- 
cruiting and disciplining his regiment. At South Mountain his man- 
agement of the regiment, under exceptionally trying circumstances, 
was such as to elicit from General Garland words of highest praise 
for his regiment and himself, a few minutes before the general re- 
ceived his mortal wound. 

After Sharpsburg, and when the army had recrossed the Potomac, 
Colonel Christie was ordered by General D. H. Hill to take com- 
mand of Brigadier-General Anderson's Brigade, the latter having 
been terribly wounded. He commanded this brigade until Colonel, 
afterwards Major, Bryan Grimes reported for duty, when Christie 
returned to his own regiment 

At Gettysburg the fight was opened by Iverson's Brigade, of which 
the 23d was a part, and Christie held his men for hours under the 
most terrific and galling fires, until the whole regiment was either 
killed, wounded or captured, with the exception of one non-com- 
missioned officer (some say lieutenant) and sixteen men". He was in 
the act of leading a charge when he fell mortally wounded, and many 
other brave men and officers of his command fell immediately near 
him. Some years ago a writer in the magazine called " Our Living 
and Dead," in noting Colonel Christie's death, wrote: 

' ' This not only closes the military but the early career of a truly 
noble patriot, over whom memory will ever linger pleasantly among 
his friends and with those with whom he served, and who ought to 
have the gratitude of all who love the South." 

A touching piece of poetry, appearing in that magazine, com- 
memorates his pathetic allusions to his darling wife whom he so 
much desired to see ere his spirit should take its everlasting flight. 
" But alas! " says the writer, "she came too late — she saw him no 
more." She, noble woman, survives, and is residing near Franklin, 
Virginia, and having had her gallant husband's remains bought home, 
she doubtless is solaced, in some degree commensurate with her sor- 

168 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

row, by the blessed privilege of spreading ever living flowers upon 
his grave. 

Charles Christopher Blacknall was born in Granville county, North 
Carolina, December 4th, 1831. He was a brother of Dr. George 
W. Blacknall and Major T. H., and father of Mr. Oscar Blacknall— 
a man of letters and well known from his productions in the Atlantic 
Monthly and the newspapers. He married Miss Virginia Spencer, 
of Oxford, who still lives to mourn the death of her true and manly 
husband. These facts we get from Captain Capehart's recently de- 
livered memorial on Colonel Blacknall, and from the Henderson 
Gold Leaf, whose editor, commenting on the truth and beauty of 
that address, adds his own eulogy of the dead: 

" Colonel Blacknall had ardent patriotism, high conviction of right 
and principle, and an engaging manhood. His presence was attrac- 
tive, his gifts were many, his heroism of a lofty type." 

Such a man must needs have made an ideal Southern soldier. He 
received his death wound at the battle of Winchester, September 
19, 1864. Having his foot shattered by a ball from a cavalryman's 
carbine, amputation failed to arrest the gangrene that subsequently 
set in, and he died on March 4th, being administered to by the good 
ladies of Winchester. He was buried by Christie's side — both Col- 
onels of the 23rd North Carolina and par nobile fratrum. While 
the remains of Christie have beeij transferred to his home, Blacknall 
sleeps in the Stonewall cemetery at Winchester — a fact, which, 
whether of deliberate choice on the part of friends or not, seems fit- 
ting to meet the idea of the patriot bard: " Where should a soldier 
rest but where he fell." 

To return to the regiment. We would be only too glad to have 
given a more detailed, as well as extended, account of battles already 
referred to, which friends have furnished us, particularly of Chancel- 
lorsville and Gettysburg; but it is probably well to have left that to 
the more general historian, since the action of one command, in any 
given fight, may be taken, as a rule, to be the action of all uryder the 
guiding hand and genius of their respective leaders. For the pur- 
poses of this sketch, an extensive account of any battle is not called 
for; hence, for the remaining report to be given, we propose to con- 
dense as much as possible. 

After Gettysburg the remainder of the brigade, which was then 
almost without a field officer, refused longer to serve under Iverson, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel R. D. Johnston was made Brigadier-General. 
Iverson was removed and Lieutenant-Colonel Robert D. Johnston, 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 169 

of Lincoln county, N. C, was placed in command of the brigade, 
the division being commanded by Rodes. 

Gettysburg had proved to be the "lion in the path " of General 
Lee's march into the enemy's country, and he soon fell back into 
Virginia. In operations at Vidiersville, and near Brandy Station in 
the fall of 1863, the regiment sustained loss, but not heavy. In bar- 
racks, at Hanover, during the winter of 1863 an< ^ 1864, the regi- 
ment may be said to have had a really good time, as did the entire 
brigade. So at the opening of the campaign in 1864, the regiment 
and entire brigade appeared well recruited for duty, well equipped 
and in good fighting trim generally. Governor Vance, in a speech 
to the army, said the boys looked like they had "corn to sell." 
This remark of Governor Vance's suggested most strikingly the 
contrast as between the appearance of the troops then and their woe- 
begone plight on the return from the fatal field of Gettysburg. It 
was somewhat now like it was when the fight first opened at Chan- 
cellorsville, barring the fact that the regiment did not number so 
many men. It entered the fight at Chancellorsville in first-rate trim, 
numbering somewhere between 300 and 400 men, rank and file. It 
lost good officers there in the death of Captains Knight, of Co. D, 
and Hedspeth, of Co. K, besides from fifty to sixty privates and two 
commissioned officers killed and from 125 to 150 wounded, as esti- 
mated by Captain Cole, formerly of- Co. " D," although the roster's 
report does not exceed fifty killed and seventy wounded. It was with 
a force much reduced that the regiment entered the first day's fight 
at Gettysburg. It must have been a small command at that battle, 
although it exhibited the nerve and endurance of a host. Its Adju- 
tant, Junius French, was killed there, and among the killed also was 
Wm. H. Johnston, Captain of Co. K, while the roster places the 
killed of privates and non-commissioned officers at about fifty-five, 
and eighty-nine wounded, and fifty-three among the captured and 
missing. Among the wounded and captured of the 23rd was Cap- 
tain H. Q. Turner, of Co. H, since the war a distinguished member 
of Congress from Georgia. He is a native of Granville, and brother 
of Adjutant Vines E. Turner. It is well authenticated that only one 
officer and not exceeding twenty men of the regiment escaped death, 
wounding or capture. 

It was about the 7th of May, 1864, that the brigade, after a season 
of recreation in the vicinity of Hanover and Taylorsville, received 
orders to rejoin the army at the Wilderness, near Spotsylvania Court 

170 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

House. General Grant was now in command on the other side. The 
regiment had a part in the battle of the Wilderness. 

Brigadier-General Johnston joined his command on the Rappa- 
hannock just before the battle of Mine Run, and participated in that 
fight, although the brigade was not actively engaged, as it was a 
mere skirmish. The brigade reached the army, from Hanover, just 
before the battle of the Wilderness. It participated in the engage- 
ment with Gordon's Brigade, turning the right flank of the Federal 
line. The brigade, in making the flank attack, penetrated to the 
rear of the enemy with some 300 or 400 men, but was recalled, and 
escaped through the line and took part in the exceedingly bloody 
action of next day. 

At Spotsylvania C. H. the brigade was held in reserve to support 
any point of attack along the line. In the morning the line occupied 
by Daniel's and Doles' Brigades was assailed, and they were driven 
from their breastworks. Johnston's Brigade re-carried the works and 
re-established the line. This was done in the presence of General 
Robert E. Lee. The troops refused to make the charge until Gen- 
eral Lee withdrew from the field, he then being at a very exposed 

In making this charge a contest arose between two of the brigade 
officers, which proved that the race, (if not always) is sometimes to 
the swift. Major Brooks, of the 20th North Carolina, and Captain 
James F. Johnston, aid-de-camp to General R. D. Johnston, were 
the participants. A flag of the enemy had been planted on the 
breastworks occupied by Doles' Brigade, now held by three lines of 
battle. In the charge made to retake the works, each of these two 
officers made a dash for the flag. Brooks reached out his hand just 
in front of Johnston and seized the flag, carried it back to the rear, 
and presented it to General Lee with the request that it be sent to 
North Carolina as one of the trophies of the brigade. It was sent to 
North Carolina, with a letter from General Lee very complimentary 
to North Carolina troops. 

After the recapture of the line of breastworks the brigade was 
again withdrawn, occupying its position in reserve until the line held 
by Major-General Edward Johnson was carried by the enemy. John- 
son's Brigade was ordered to re-take that line of works. The enemy 
had crossed over where the Stonewall brigade had been located, and 
after penetrating 200 yards inside the Confederate line with three 
lines of battle, were occupying a thin piece of woods just in rear of 

The Twenty -third North Carolina Infantry. 171 

the Stonewall brigade line, and the angle from which Edward John- 
son's division had been driven. The brigade made a charge in the 
woods and was confronted with three lines of battle not more than 
fifty yards apart, and there could not have been less than 5,000 men 
in the three lines. The insufficient number of men to meet such a 
force was so apparent that when the brigade struck the enemy's first 
line, an officer from a New York regiment dashed out and demanded 
the surrender of the brigade; he was immediately shot down, and 
another came up to the brigade with like command, only to share 
the same fate. Instead of surrendering, an officer of the command 
seized the colors of the 23d Regiment and the brigade was ordered 
to charge. They charged, driving back the left of the enemy's line, 
and passed on, entering the angle of the breastworks, out of which 
they drove the enemy, and re-captured that part of the line. The 
whole Confederate line was then restored by the aid of other troops. 
General Johnston, while making observations from the top of the 
breastworks in the angle, was shot in the head and carried from the 

In the charge to re-establish General Lee's line at a point known as 
the Salient, Colonel Garrett, of the 23d, was killed. Colonel W. 
S. Davis, of the 12th North Carolina, was placed temporarily in 
command of the 23d regiment, about this time. Individual inci- 
dents are not lacking, only the facts and circumstances are not in 
hand, to give prominent place to certain persons in these critical at- 
tacks. We would mention that Corporal E. S. Hart, of Company 
D, was flag-bearer of the 23rd at Spotsylvania, as he had been in 
previous engagements. In the hands of Hart, while he was able to 
be "on his pegs," that flag was never lowered except once, and 
that was when he was knocked down with the breech of a gun by a 

The second Cold Harbor battle was not participated in by the 23d, 
but about this time it, with the brigade, was detached from Lee's 
army and sent into the valley under Early to meet Hunter. Captain 
Frank Bennett, of Anson county, was acting colonel of the regiment, 
and in that celebrated campaign the command was spoken of as 
" Bennett and his invincibles." It has been impossible, and will be, 
to report accurately the losses of the regiment in the campaign just 
closed, or in that now just opening before our command. The career 
of General Robert D. Johnston's Brigade, in the brilliant campaign 
with Early, is but a history of the 23d Regiment, which constantly 

172 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

shared its fortunes through it all — thence again to the lines at Peters- 
burg, and down to the end. 

The next fighting done by the brigade was as a part of Early's 
command in that truly great march on Washington city. The bri- 
gade was in all the battles of that command, and made the flank 
movement with Gordon's Division at Bell Grove and Cedar Creek. 
In this battle it had a hand-to-hand conflict with the 6th Army Corps. 
It captured, with the aid of Battle's Brigade, of Alabama, six pieces 
of artillery, which were gallantly defended by the artillerymen, who 
died at their posts rather than surrender. The brigade was ordered 
to take position in front of Middleburg, where it remained during the 
day, having skirmished with cavalry in front. That evening Gen- 
eral Sheridan, having taken command of the Federal troops, made 
his attack on the left flank of the Confederate line. The brigade was 
in position where it could see the line as it broke, first at the point 
held by Gordon's Brigade, and then at that held by Ramseur's Bri- 
gade. These brigades retired from the field in great confusion. 
Johnston's Brigade was the only organized body that retired from 
the presence of the enemy with its line unbroken, halting and firing 
repeatedly as they were pressed upon, being the only organized force 
then of the Confederate army. 

After falling back near Cedar Creek, General Pegram sent an or- 
der to Johnston "to cross the bridge" and follow the road towards 
Strasburg. General Johnston sent a message to him that it would 
be impossible to cross the bridge, as the breastworks built by the 
enemy commanded the bridge completely, and that the enemy would 
occupy them before he (Johnston) could cross; but that he could 
cross below, and preserve his brigade intact. A second staff officer 
from General Pegram commanded Johnston to bring his brigade across 
the bridge just under the command of those breastworks, which, in the 
meantime, had become occupied by the enemy, and thus, while the 
brigade was attempting to cross the bridge, a hot fire was poured into 
their line from the breastworks. Being totaly unprotected and at 
the mercy of the enemy, the brigade fell into confusion, and re- 
treated under cover of the darkness. On the retreat up the valley, 
the brigade was covering the rear, followed by Sheridan's cavalry, in 
the flush of victory and determined to put the Confederates to rout, 
if possible. Thus was the command, from morning until night, fol- 
lowed and harried by a persistent foe; when the retreating column, 
attenuated as it was, had reached a point near Mount Jackson, Gen- 

The Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry. 173 

eral Johnston was ordered to face about and hold the enemy in check. 
He formed a line of battle, threw out his skirmishers, and had one 
of the hottest fights in which the brigade was engaged on the skirm- 
ish line. The enemy was defeated and driven back. 

It was on the 19th day of September, 1864, when Colonel Black- 
nail, of the 23rd, got his death wound, that Johnston's brigade won 
distinguished notice. General Bradley T. Johnson, a brilliant sol- 
dier and writer of Maryland, gave a graphic account of that day's 
battle through the newspapers. We give an extract from his report 
of Sheridan's advance on that day: 

" By daylight, the 19th of September, a scared cavalryman of my 
own command, nearly rode over me as I lay asleep on the grass, 
and reported that the Yankees were advancing with a heavy force of 
infantry, artillery and cavalry up the Berryville road. * * * 
Johnston and I were responsible for keeping Sheridan out of Win- 
chester, and protecting the Confederate line of retreat, and commu- 
nication up the valley. In two minutes the command was mounted 
and moving at a trot across the open fields to the Berryville road and 
to Johnston's assistance. There was not a fence nor a tree nor a 
bush to obscure the view. We could see the crest of a hill, covered 
with a cloud of cavalry, and in front of them — 500 yards in front — 
was a thin grey line moving off in retreat solidly and in perfect cool- 
ness and self-possession. * * * A regiment of cavalry would 
deploy into line and their bugles would sound the ' charge ' and 
they'd swoop down on the 'thin grey line of North Carolina.' The 
instant the Yankee bugles sounded, North Carolina (Johnston's 
Brigade) would halt, face by the rear rank, wait until the horse got 
within 100 yards and then fire as deliberately and coolly as if firing 
volleys on brigade drill. The cavalry would break and scamper 
back, and North Carolina would ' about face ' and continue her 
march in retreat as solemnly and with as much dignity as marching 
in review. But we got there just in time, that is to engage cavalry 
with cavalry, and hold Sheridan in check until Johnston had got 
back to the rest of the infantry and formed line at right angles to the 
pike west of Winchester." 

Being an entirely open country, everything that was going on 
could be seen for miles around; and Bradley Johnston says, in con- 
clusion : 

"There were 45,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry in the open fields 

174 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

against 8,500 infantry and 3,000 mounted gun-men. The thing be- 
gan at daylight and kept on until dark, when flanked and worn out, 
Early retreated, to escape being surrounded. 

" This is the story (given only in part here) of the thin grey line of 
North Carolina and the cavalry charge, a feat of arms before which 
that of Sir Colin Campbell fades into insignificance. ' ' 

The brigade had a severe fight at the Monocacy river, near Fred- 
erick City, in entering Maryland. Captain W. C. Wall, command- 
ing Company F, was severely wounded in this fight. While General 
Gordon's Division crossed the river and attacked the line of battle 
in the flank, Johnston's Brigade was ordered to capture a block- 
house on the other side of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. A 
considerable number of the enemy were in the railroad cut and per- 
fectly protected. The brigade charged across the railroad on the 
bridge, under a raking fire from a heavy battery on the other side of 
the river. Seeing it could not carry the block-house in that way, a 
company of soldiers passed under the culvert and opened fire on the 
enemy in the railroad cut from the flank, drew them out of the cut, 
and captured the block-house. When the first attempt to take the 
block-house, made by Colonel Blacknall with the 23d Regiment, had 
failed, by reason of an enfilade fire from a line of battle behind the 
railroad, which caused the regiment to fall back, General Johnston 
sent a message to Colonel Davis to take the 12th Regiment and cap- 
ture it. Colonel Davis says : 

"General J. was not in a very good humor and I was suffering 
(sick) so that I could hardly walk. However, I went forward to the 
ravine (not knowing the cause of the falling back of the 23d), and 
here halted and had picked men as videttes to reconnoitre and see 
all they could. Finding out about the line of battle behind the rail- 
road, I sent General J. a message that if I advanced I would expose 
my men to an enfilade fire, and that if he would dislodge the line of 
battle behind the railroad I could take the house without loss of men. 
I never heard from General J. In the meantime, the fight was going 
on on the other side between Wallace (of Ben Hur fame) and Gor- 
don. Three lines of battle engaged Gordon's one, and now Wallace 
begins to retreat. His men on our side then had to cross over 
quickly or be taken. I moved forward, and as we struck the bridge 
on our side the enemy was clearing it on the other side. The re- 
treat and pursuit began, which continued for about two miles. We 

The Tiv en ty -third North Carolina Infantry. 175 

then advanced as far as Blair's farm, in full view of Washington city, 
but soon deemed it wise to come back into Virginia." 

Of course the operations in the valley under Early, already given, 
were subsequent to the action and events recorded immediately 
above. In the valley campaign, the brigade was transferred to Ram- 
seur's division. At his death, General John Pegram succeeded to 
the command of the division. Almost simultaneous with the transfer 
of Sheridan from the valley to Grant's line near Petersburg, Early's 
command returned to the aid of Lee, at least the greater part of it. 

Picket duty on Hatcher's Run, during the greater part of the win- 
ter, was onerous and severe. The 23rd took an active part in the 
fight at Hatcher's Run, Captain Peace, of Granville, being its com- 
mander. It was in this action that General John Pegram was killed, 
and Captain Frank Bennett, of Anson, formerly commander of the 
23rd, lost an arm, at the time being in command of the brigade 
skirmishers. The division was afterwards commanded by General 
Walker. Johnston's was one of the attacking brigades that carried 
the enemy's line of breastworks at the battle of Hare's Hill, in which 
action General Johnston was so injured by a fall from the breast- 
works, a sprain of the ankle, that he was carried from the field. 

On the withdrawal of the army from Petersburg, he followed in an 
ambulance. To the last, was he true to the high, soldierly instincts 
of his nature. Finding that the Federal cavalry were about to cap- 
ture the whole line of wagons and ambulances, he got hold of a few 
stragglers, stopped an ammunition wagon, made every man get 
down and take a gun, and with this force he prevented the capture 
of the wagon and ambulance train. Further on in the great retreat 
the cavalry broke into the line, captured General Johnston's ambu- 
lance, and the rest including a portion of the wagon train. General 
Johnston cut off the insignia of his rank from his coat, and seizing a 
mule, the driver having fled, he mounted the warlike animal bare- 
back, rode back behind where the outfit had been captured, organ- 
ized a force of stragglers and recaptured the whole line. A cause 
that had such grit as that in its defence, deserved success. But we 
hasten to a conclusion, regretting the incompleteness of a task which 
has been both pleasing and sad. 

At dawn on the 9th of April, the scene of a bloody midnight skir- 
mish is passed. Gordon's command, of which the 23rd Regiment 
is a part, moves with spirit against a body of infantry which after a 
volley falls back precipitately, and once more the " rebel yell " of 

176 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

victory cheers on our brave boys. But suddenly and strangely a 
halt is ordered, and the command marched from vigorous pursuit in 
the direction of the town. The whole army is massing in the vicinity 
of the courthouse — and see, there are Federal officers riding in the 
midst of Confederates, while on the neighboring hills and passing 
swiftly to the right, go hundreds of Federal cavalry, frantic* with 
huzzas. Can it be? Ah, yes, the stacked arms, broken ranks, 
furled banners and weeping soldiers, proclaim the surrender of Lee's 
proud army. 

Dr. R. J. Hicks, now of Warrenton, Virginia, who was a faithful 
surgeon to the 23rd, all through the war, says of the regiment: 

" It did as much hard service, fought in as many battles, was as 
constant in the performance of duty as any other regiment in the 
army. And at Appomattox," says Dr. Hicks, "it surrendered 
about as many men as any other regiment in the army. ' ' 

By the Appomattox "parole lists," taken from the last volume of 
the "Rebellion Records," it is shown that Johnston's brigade, at 
the surrender, numbered 463 men, rank and file. At that time, the 
brigade was commanded by Colonel J. W. Lea. 

We close this paper with the addition of the following statistics, 
taken from the source above indicated, with reference to North Car- 
olina soldiers surrendered at Appomattox: Total, forty-two regi- 
ments and one battalion infantry; five regiments and one battalion 
cavalry, and five battalions artillery. That all these should have 
numbered only 5,022 rank and file, at the surrender, says the Wil- 
mington Messenger, shows the wear and tear North Carolina troops 
had sustained. First and last, by the muster rolls, these commands 
had contained over 100,000 men. 

Rockbridge Second Dragoons. 177 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, June 6, 1897.] 

A Short History of the Company — Its Roll. 

Mr. J. Scott Moore contributes the following- to the Rockbridge 
county News: 

The Rockbridge Second Dragoons was organized in the lower end 
of Rockbridge, principally in the vicinity of Brownsburg, and was 
mustered into service April 21, 1861. The officers at that time were 
John R. McNutt, captain; Robert McChesney, first lieutenant; John 
A. Gibson, second lieutenant; Dr. Z. J. Walker, third lieutenant. 
They were ordered to West Virginia (then Virginia), where Lieu- 
tenant McChesney was killed, probably the first man killed on Vir- 
ginia soil. His tragic death occurred near St. George, Tucker 
county. Lieutenants Gibson and Walker were promoted to be first 
and second lieutenants by vacancy, and John Y. Anderson was made 
third lieutenant. 

At the reorganization in 1862, after first year's service, John A. 
Gibson was made captain; James A. Strain, first lieutenant; James 
Archibald Lyle, second lieutenant, and James Lindsay, third lieu- 
tenant. The company was then doing service in Major William L. 
Jackson's battalion, composed of the following companies: Church- 
ville Cavalry, from Augusta county; Charlotte Cavalry, from Char- 
lotte county, and Rockbridge Second Dragoons, from Rockbridge 

The 14th Virginia Cavalry was organized in 1862, and these three 
companies were assigned to it, the Dragoons becoming Company H. 
Captain John A. Gibson was made Lieutenant-Colonel, and promo- 
tions were made in the Dragoons as follows: James A. Strain, Cap- 
tain; James Lindsay, First Lieutenant; William M. Sterrett, Second 
Lieutenant; Z. J. Culton, Third Lieutenant, who died in Salem while 
the regiment was in winter quarters near that town the winter of 
1862-63. A. B. Mackey was elected to fill Lieutenant Culton' s 
place. Lieutenant Mackey was killed near Moorefield, Hardy 
county, on the retreat from the burning of Chambersburg in 1864. 
William N. Wilson was elected to supply the vacancy caused by his 
death. At the surrender the company was officered as follows: Cap- 

178 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

tain, James A. Strain; First Lieutenant, James Lindsay; Second 
Lieutenant, William M. Sterret; Third Lieutenant, William N. Wil- 

This company holds undisputed the unique position of having 
probably the first and the last man killed on Virginia soil. Lieuten- 
ant Robert McChesney was the first, being bushwhacked in West 
Virginia, and James H. Wilson and Samuel B. Walker were killed 
at Appomattox on the 9th of April, 1865, several hours after the 
terms of capitulation had been signed by Generals Lee and Grant. 

The following is a list of the dead and living who at any time dur- 
ing the war served in the company: William Adams, James Y. 
Anderson, John Y. Anderson, Samuel B. Anderson, Jacob H. An- 
derson, Robert Anderson, H. W. Bagley, D. S. Black, William 
Black, A. M. Brown, Charles B. Buchanan, William Brownlee, Jno. 
Brownlee, S. Balser, James Breedlove, Thomas Chittum, John Chit- 
tum, Z. J. Culton, Joseph Culton, John Campbell, William Davis, 
L. P. Davis, David Dice, George W. Dice, John Dice, Archibald 
Davis, Andrew Ervin, James B. Firebaugh, James W. Firebaugh, 
Henry Firebaugh, Taylor Ford, Alexander Ford, Isaac Friend, 
Robert Fulwiler, Henry A. Green, C. P. Green, John H. Greiner, 
C. C. Greiner, Granville Greiner, James L. Glendy, J.'W. Gibson, 
John A. Gibson, J. Samuel Gibson, Howard Houston, N. B. Hull, 
James M. Huffman, John Huffman, Lorenzo Hill, John Hanger, 
Charles W. Irvine, John Johnston, John M. Kirkpatrick, Joseph 
Kennedy, Hugh Kennedy, David Kennedy, Joseph Kinnear,W. B. 
F. Leech, James Lindsay, H. T. Lindsay, John Lowman, James A. 
Lyle, William A. Lyie, John H. Lyle, James Lockridge, Isaac 
Lotts, Jacob Ludwick, W. R. Lackey, H. A. Lackey, A. B. 
Mackey, John W. Mackey, Gideon Marks, H. Rudd Morrison, 
John R. McNutt, Josiah McNutt, J. J. McBride, Samuel C. McMas- 
ter, Samuel Mines, John McKinsey, B. F. McClung, D. B. McClung, 
James A. McClung, John T. McClung, A. A. McClung, Henry 
(Little) Mackey, John Henry Mackey, A. A. Moore, Jas. McChes- 
ney, Robert McChesney, John K. Moore, William A. McCutchan, 
N. B. McCluer, Ananias J. Miller, John L. Morter, A. H. Moore, 
David H. McCray, Thomas Norcross, W. A. Norcross, Chas. New- 
ton, James W. Ott, Frank Ott, William H. Parrent, Marion Parrent, 
Samuel G. Pettigrew, W. L. Patterson, H. W. Patterson, Cyrus 
Patterson, Nimrod Patterson, David Pultz, Wesley Paxton, Abner 
Paxton, John A. Paxton, Brenard Pinkerton, Fay Pinkerton, Har- 
vey Payne, Chris. Palmer, W. W. Runnels, James Runnels, Sam- 

Rockbridge Second Dragoons. 179 

uel T. Rhea, James A. Strain, Samuel P. Strain, William A. Sand- 
ridge, Jacob H. Shaner, John N. Stoner, D. H. Stoner, William 
M. Sale, Robert Sale, Samuel W. Short, John Sheridan, John N. 
Snider, James H. Snider, Thomas Sensabaugh, James Smiley, An- 
drew Smiley, Robert Sterrett, Daniel Swisher, James Swisher, Wm. 
W. Smallwood, Alexander Stuart, S. W. Stuart, J. G. Stuart, Wil- 
liam M. Sterrett, Samuel W. Sterrett, H. L. Terrill, James Terrill, 
F. H. Templeton, Arch. Taylor, William Taylor, Howard H. Thomp- 
son, John F. Tribbett, William Vines, A. H. Weir, William N. Wil- 
son, Thomas M. Wilson, M. D. Wilson, Samuel N. Wilson, John 
Edgar Wilson, John W. Wheat, James Withers, H. A. Withers, 
John H. Whitmore, William Wright, John R. Wright, J. Alpheus 
Wilson, Robert Wilson, John Welsh, Matthew X. White, William 

A. Walker, Cyrus Walker, Dr. Z. J. Walker, Alexander Walker, 
Samuel H. Weir, Arch. Withrow, James H. Wilson, Howard Wil- 
son, Samuel B. Walker. 

Killed — A. A. Moore; Robert McChesney, bushwhacked near St. 
George, Tucker county, in 1861; Andrew Ervin, killed at Bratton's 
farm; Howard Houston, in battle, 1864; James Lockridge in battle 
in 1863; A. B. Mackey, at Moorefield, W. Va., in 1864; H. Rudd 
Morrison, in 1862; John F. Tribbett, at Monocacy in 1864; Samuel 

B. Walker and James H. Wilson, April 9, 1865, at Appomattox 
Courthouse; M. X. White, shot by Hunter's command near Lexing- 
ton, while a prisoner, in 1864. 

Died During War — Samuel B. Anderson, Jacob H. Anderson, 
Robert Anderson, Charles B. Buchanan, Z. J. Colton, William B. 
Firebaugh, Henry Firebaugh, Joseph Kinnear, Robert Sterret, Alex- 
ander Stuart. 

The following died in prison: H. W. Patterson, Cyrus Patterson, 
John Henry Mackey, Gideon Marks, William Brownlee, William 
Black. Wesley Paxton was drowned in the Kanawha river in 1862. 

The 14th Virginia Regiment was in Jenkins', afterwards McCaus- 
land's, Brigade, and did service in West Virginia, the Shenandoah 
Valley, and around Richmond. It was composed of three compa- 
nies from Greenbrier, one from Augusta, one from Charlotte, one 
from Upshur, one from Rockbridge, and a large portion of two others 
were from this county (Captain William A. Lackey's and Alexander 
M. Peck's), the remainder of these two companies being from Roa- 
noke, Pulaski, Montgomery and Highland counties. It was among 
the best mounted regiments in the service, and the discipline and 
their soldierly bearing were noticeable. James Cochran, of Augusta 

180 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

county, was Colonel; John A. Gibson, of Rockbridge, Lieutenant- 
Colonel; B. F. Eakle, of the Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs, 
Major, and Edward S. Roe, of Orange Courthouse, Surgeon. It 
was one of the regiments out of four that raided Pennsylvania to 
enforce the order of levying a tax of several hundred thousand 
dollars on the cities and towns of that State, as compensation for 
the burning of the mills and barns in the Shenandoah Valley by 
Sheridan in 1863. They burned Chambersburg because the Council 
of that city refused to pay the levy of $150,000. The regiment sur- 
rendered at Appomattox in 1865. 

[From the New Orleans Picayune, April 25, 1897.] 


Colonel 10th Louisiana Infantry, C. S. Army. 


A massive figure in Louisiana history passed peacefully out of this 
life, in this city last night, a massive figure in the history of the 
gigantic struggle between the North and the South. 

Colonel Eugene Waggaman died, venerable, and crowned with 
the honor of one of the greatest records of the late war. If Malvern 
Hill had had the poet who immortalized the Six Hundred, Colonel 
Waggaman would not be less known throughout the world to-day 
than they, and as long as history conserves the names of the brave, 
his name will make the Louisianian proud. 

The Colonel's death was quite sudden. Two days ago he was en- 
joying better health than usually falls to the lot of a man of seventy 
years. He was stopping at the home of one of his children, at No. 
5340 Pitt street. When his coffee was handed him yesterday morn- 
ing, before he had gotten out of bed, his head was seen to droop and 
blood gushed from his mouth. It was soon discovered that he had 
suffered another stroke of apoplexy, and the physicians said he could 
not live through the night. Something like six months ago he 
was stricken, but he had recovered entirely from the effects of the 
stroke, and up to the time of this seizure he was enjoying good 

Sketch of Eugene Waggaman. 181 

health. He had an iron constitution, and it is thought that, had he 
not exposed himself too much of late years, he would have lived out 
possibly, a century of existence. He had never known what it was 
to suffer an ache of disease through his long life. 

Colonel Waggaman was born in this city on September 18, 1826. 
He was born on the identical spot where the Solari grocery now 
stands, at the corner of Royal and Customhouse streets. He came 
from a family both titled and historic for generations. His ancestry- 
is traceable back into the nobility of Europe. Baron von Brouner, 
who, after an eventful career, came to Louisiana to settle, was his 
great-great-grandfather. The baron came to Louisiana with a com- 
mission from the king of Spain. He was a Swiss soldier. He com- 
manded a regiment of Swiss infantry and saw service under three 
kings. The first of these kings was Amedee I, of Italy. He con- 
ferred upon the Baron his title. In testimony of esteem he further 
presented the great-grandfather of this sketch, with a medalion, a 
gold snuff box, containing the King's portrait and ornamented with 
diamonds, and other tokens which remained heirlooms in the family 
for generations. 

Stanislaus, of Poland, next commanded this historic soldier's ser- 
vices, and then the Baron came to Louisiana under commission of his 
majesty of Spain. 

As his bride, the Baron brought to America, Christine Carbonari, 
of the celebrated Spinola family. Two daughters were born to this 
union. One of them married Cyril Arnoult, a merchant of Flan- 
ders, who settled in this city, and who participated in the battle of 
New Orleans. Their daughter, Camille Arnoult, married George 
Augustus Waggaman. Mr. Waggaman was a Marylander. His 
forefather, Bartholomew Ennals, had settled in Dorchester, Mary- 
land, shortly after the foundation of the colony by Lord Baltimore. 

George Augustus Waggaman, the father of the subject of this 
sketch, speedily became prominent in this State. He was a lawyer 
and became a judge of the Federal courts. He was then made 
Secretary of State and held that office for three successive terms. 
Finally, in 1 861, he was elected to the United States Senate for a 
term of six years. He was a whig, and the leader of his party in 
this State. He took an active part in all the exciting political occur- 
rences of his time, and participated in a fatal duel as the result of 
politics. The democrats here in those days were led by Dennis 
Prieur, and it was with this leader of the opposite political faith that 
the encounter took place. The duel was fought under ' ' The Oaks. ' ' 

182 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

The story is related that Senator Waggaman intended only to wing 
his antagonist, and it resulted fatally for him. He missed his aim, 
but Prieur's bullet was more accurate, striking the senator in the 
leg and severing the femoral artery. The senator never recovered 
from the injury. He refused to permit the amputation of his leg, 
and died of gangrene on March 22, 1843. The duel had occurred 
on the 20th. Had he lived six months longer he would have been 
sent as minister to France, for such appears to have been President 
Tyler's intention. 

Senator Waggaman' s children were: (1) Henry St. John, who 
became a lawyer and died at an early age; (2) Christine, who mar- 
ried Sanfield McDonald, the first prime minister of Ontario, Canada, 
and who refused the order of knighthood offered by Queen Victoria; 
(3) Eugene, the subject of the present sketch; (4) Mathilde, who 
married Judge Henry D. Ogden; (5) Eliza, who married John R. 
Conway, and (6) Camille, who died in youth. 

Eugene Waggaman was educated at Mount St. Mary's College, 
Maryland, and graduated from there as valedictorian of the class 
of '46. 

Returning to this State from school, he took charge of his mother's 
and his own sugar plantation in Jefferson Parish, and at the age of 
twenty-five years married Miss Felicie Sauve, the daughter of Pierre 
Sauve, of the same parish. During the years 1858-59 he was a 
member of the State Legislature which called the Constitutional Con- 
vention. In the next year the war had come. With the martial 
blood of his ancestors tingling in his veins, he at once prepared for 
the fight. He raised in his own parish a company of cavalry known 
as the Jefferson Chasseurs. These were the young men of the plan- 
tations, accustomed to the saddle from infancy and perfect masters of 
their animals. Being chosen their captain, he went on to Mont- 
gomery, the seat of the Confederate government, and offered the 
services of his company. 

The value of cavalry was not appreciated by the new government. 
The Virginia campaigns had not yet happened to teach them the les- 
son. The cavalry was declined as too costly to support, and Captain 
Waggaman was compelled to return and so declare to his men. But 
he was determined. He asked the company to fight on foot, but not 
one man complied. Coming to New Orleans he enlisted as a private 
in the 10th Louisiana Regiment, commanded by his cousin, Colonel 
Mandeville Marigny. Before the regiment left he became captain of 
the Tirailleurs d' Orleans; a company composed in large measure of 

Sketch of Eugene Waggaman. 183 

foreigners — Greeks, Italians, Indians, Spaniards, and representatives 
of all the southern European nations. To drilling and molding this 
strange mass he devoted himself with telling effect, and to the end 
they were amongst the most loyal to the cause. 

The ioth Louisiana went to Virginia and shared in all the battles 
of the retreat. Promotion was rapid in the regiment, where, out of 
the forty officers allowed it at one time, thirty-one were killed or 
wounded. So not many months of active service had been seen by 
the regiment before Captain Waggaman was made lieutenant-colonel, 
commanding the ioth Louisiana. 

On the ist of July, 1862, came the battle of Malvern Hill, and 
with it came glory and fame to the ioth. The story of the battle is 
well known, but the account of " that charge, less famous, but equally 
as desperate as that of Balaklava," will bear repetition. The fol- 
lowing narrative of it is taken from the ' ' Military Record of 
Louisiana," by the late lamented Napier Bartlett, published some 
fifteen years ago, viz: 

"A daring attempt in the first place had been made to flank Malvern 
Hill, but this movement had been met by a superior flanking party 
of the enemy. The brigade now pressed forward across the open 
field fronting Malvern Hill, with the ardor of young soldiers panting 
for their first laurels, and ignorant of the madness which had doomed 
so many of their numbers to cruel wounds or certain death. As 
they advance the troops on the flank give way, though all of 
Semmes' brigade continued on gallantly, in spite of the waning light. 
When within 500 yards of the Federals, the brigade reformed, and 
the desperate cry rang out: " Fix bayonets — charge! " — commands 
almost equivalent to a death sentence. But with the natural ardor of 
the troops from the Pelican State, the men labored up the crest of 
the plateau, immediately in front of thirty-three pieces of artillery. 
Up the hill they go at a double-quick. Colonel Waggaman jump- 
ing imprudently far in advance of the regiment, but the men tearing 
on after him. On the last fifty yards of the charge comes the strain. 
It lasts but five minutes. In that time 127 men are lost out of 272. 
So withering was the storm of shell and bullets with which they were 
received, that at one time they walked over a whole regiment who 
were lying down, "colors and all, and who appeared in the dusky twi- 
light to be so many corpses. Onward still the little band pursued its 
way, although unsupported by other troops, until it crossed bayonets 
with the Federal infantry." 

184 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

It thus happened (one of the rarest occurrences of the war) that 
the whole of the ioth Louisiana engaged in a bayonet struggle along 
almost the entire line, with a force fifteen times greater than their 
own number. The advanced line of the Federals having been 
driven back the ioth finds itself among the cannoneers. While 
Dean, a brave Irishman, was receiving his death wound at the side 
of the leader of the ioth by a bayonet through the neck, the latter 
succeeded in knocking up the muskets in his immediate front and in 
cutting a path as far as the second line of the enemy's artillery. 
His death seemed inevitable. Cries of " kill him," " bayonet him," 
sounded on all sides. His command, which it may be said in pass- 
ing, had been ordered forward by a military error, and never for a 
moment had a ghost of a chance of success, were of course nearly 
all killed or captured by the formidable line in their immediate front. 
Those of the ioth who succeeded in stumbling back over the bodies 
of their fallen comrades owed their escape to the darkness. 

Colonel Waggaman was captured and with some sixteen others, 
including Captain I. L. Lyons, was taken to Fort Warren, near 
Boston, where they remained until exchanged. They were every- 
where treated with courtesy, and one pleasant incident, at least, 
mingled softening remembrances with those of his imprisonment. 
Just before his capture he had thrown away his sword to prevent 
surrendering it. This was a weapon valuable both for the quality of 
its steel, its make and the fact that it had been in use by the family 
for over 150 years. At the exchange this sword was returned to 
him by Assistant-Adjutant- General Thomas, who had been specially 
commissioned to do so. 

After the exchange Colonel Waggaman was sent back to Louis- 
iana as a recruiting officer, but was shortly afterwards recalled to 
Virginia by special order of General Lee. He took Stafford's com- 
mand of the 2d Louisiana Brigade. He did brilliant fighting in the 
second valley campaign. He was wounded in the forearm at Win- 
chester, but even while suffering from his inflamed wound continued 
in command. At Petersburg he led the 2d Brigade in another des- 
perate charge, and again saw perilous action when the brigades were 
covering the retreat. 

Then Appomattox and surrender came. There it was Colonel 
Waggaman' s sad honor to surrender all that was "left of the 16,000 
men who composed the Louisiana brigades. When they had been 
drawn up in ranks for the ceremony Colonel Waggaman begged of 
them the privilege of becoming the depository of a piece of the bri- 

Sketch of Eugene Waggamcn). 185 

gade's battle-flag. This was willingly granted. The flag had to be 
surrendered, but a piece could be taken from it. With that sword 
which had saved his life at Malvern Hill he cut a section, including 
the lateral side and two stars. This he has sacredly preserved, with 
the same old saddle-bag and papers in which it was placed, to be 
transmitted as his most valuable heirloom to his children. Only one 
person has ever induced him to part with a portion of it. That one 
was the daughter of his old commander — Miss Mildred Lee. He 
gave her, some twelve years ago, a small piece, including one of the 
stars, and in return received a splendid portrait of her father. 

At Appomattox every respect was shown the Louisiana soldiers. 
At the surrender they marched with heads as erect as ever. When 
they impinged on the line of the conquering enemy the victors 
shouldered arms with grave faces, on which was neither smile nor 
cynicism, nor suggestion of the defeat of their adversaries. 

Colonel Waggaman returned to New Orleans with the remnant of 
the Louisiana troops. His fortune was shattered, but he set man- 
fully to work to repair it. He was elected at one time to the office 
of civil sheriff of this parish, and always took an active share in pol- 
itics as a becoming citizen. 

His wife and four sons and two daughters survive the deceased. 
The sons are William, Albert, Charles and Frank, the first two men- 
tioned being married, and the daughters are Mrs. Thomas E. Wag- 
gaman, of Washington, and Mrs. Mamie Birne, of Wilmington, 

For the past year or so of his life, the Colonel was engaged in 
experimenting upon a small farm he possessed near Lake Charles, in 
the hope that he might make it profitable, and it was during this 
period that he exposed himself injudiciously to the weather, and to 
too great hardships for a man of his age. The experiment was not 
successful, the railroad being too far away from his farm to enable 
him to operate it to advantage. 

One of the touching incidents of his late years happened at the 
time of the Veteran Reunion in Houston. One of the men who had 
been in his command at Malvern Hill proposed to go to this reunion 
and one of the great plans he had in connection with it, was to wear 
the sword his chief had thrown away at Malvern Hill, rather than 
have it captured. The Colonel accomodated him, but he said: 
" Only once in its history since I have had it, has it parted company 
from me. Take it, and be sure that it gets back to me safe. I could 
hardly refuse it to one who had followed it so gallantly as you. But, " 

186 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

added the Colonel, with emphasis, "if it doesn't come back to me 
safe, be careful that you do not come back." His old soldier com- 
rade lived in a distant parish, and so impressed was he with the 
earnestness of his former commander's words, that he was afraid to 
trust it to the express company or any messenger, and it was only 
when one of the Colonel's sons by accident happened to be in his 
portion of the State, that he hunted him up and asked if he was 
quite sure that he could bring the sword safely back to the Colonel, 
if he were entrusted with it. 

[From the Richmond (Va.) Enquirer, May 10, 1871.] 

Of "Mason & Slidell " Fame. 

A Tribute to this Exalted Patriot by Hon. Henry A. Wise. 

The Hon. James Murray Mason is no more. His death has 
already been announced, but we deem it a pleasure, as well as a duty, 
to take more than a cursory notice of the loss of such a man to the 
once honored State, which he and his ancestors served so long and 
so eminently, at a time when her glory was the chief pride of her 

Descended from the Masons of Gunston, in Virginia, and from the 
Murrays of Maryland, he was born November 3, 1798, in the county 
of Fairfax, and after early boyhood was reared and educated chiefly 
in the city of Philadelphia, with every opportunity for attaining 
accomplishments of a high order. He was a resident in a French 
family of superior refinement, and was a graduate of the University 
of Pennsylvania, A. D. 18 18. Thus trained to the age of his ma- 
jority he could not be other than a gentleman, in the highest sense 
of that much abused term. 

The son of General John Mason, Sr. , of " Claremont," the 
grandson of George Mason, of " Gunston," the only rival of George 
Washington, and the author of the first Bill of Rights, properly 
conceived and expressed, ever penned for mankind, and sprung 
from a mother more like a "mother of the Gracchi," than almost 
any woman of her day, James M. Mason could not but feel the 

A Tribute to Honorable James Murray Mason. 187 

pride of birth and a sense that he had an escutcheon never to be 
stained, always to be kept in honor. But he had no other pride of 
family than that which required of him every attainment and every 
virtue to maintain his position in society and his relations to the 
State. He was far above the boasting of his blood. 

Philadelphia, at that day, was not only the cleanest city in the 
world, with the best founded and governed municipal institutions on 
this continent, under strict Quaker regime, but had a society of the 
world, the most cultivated in all its grades. Mr. Mason had free 
access to that society, sought it, and availed himself of all its advan- 
tages. Among other families of high "grace and decorum," he 
was happily intimate in that of the eminent Benjamin Chew, of Ger- 
mantown, whose house was battered by the balls of the Revolution; 
and early after graduating in the profession of the law he wedded 
one of the proudest daughters of that house. It was not a case of 
' ' noblesse oblige, ' ' but a beautiful love-match between ' ' lady and 
knight," both accomplished, peerless and true. That lady survives 
the honored lord, who cherished her devotedly a long life-time 
through; and next to the solace which God gives to one bereaved like 
her, she has the comfort of the many pledges of their true love in the 
children and grandchildren of their marriage. 

We are informed that Mr. Mason studied law with Mr. Benjamin 
Watkins Leigh, of the Richmond bar. He evidently studied law, 
especially the English common law and its history, more with the 
view to its application to the science of government than to its prac- 
tice in the forum. In politics he was hereditarily a Democratic 
Republican, opposed to all implied powers, for strict construction 
and strong limitations of constitutional powers of government, and 
extremely jealous of the separate, independent and sovereign rights 
of the States, and especially maintained the right of self-government 
in the States in respect to their own domestic and internal relations. 
His political faith was of the order of the stock of men from which 
he sprung — it was after the model of his grandfather, and he aspired 
to political preferment from the first of his career. 

He settled in the town of Winchester, in the rich county of Fred- 
erick, of the valley of the Shenandoah, and the first time we had 
personal knowledge of him was in 1826, when he was in the twenty- 
ninth year of his age. On the 4th of July of that year he delivered 
the oration of the day in that town to a large concourse of citizens, 
and we were struck with the singularly same ring of metal which 
sounds in the old George Mason Bill of Rights. He was not, how- 

188 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

ever, neglectful of his profession, was diligent in its practice, and the 
bench and bar of Winchester and surrounding circuits then, even 
more than now, were distinguished for eminent lawyers, such as 
Henry St. George Tucker, Alfred H. Powell and John R. Cooke, 
and a younger tier of professional devotees, such as the two Mar- 
shalls, the Conrads and Moses Hunter, the best wit of them all. 
Mr. Mason took a high rank among them at the bar, but always 
looked to politics for his field of distinction; yet he was no dema- 
gogue, and spurned the ad captandum of the vulgar electioneerer. 
His forte was good taste; and he had the keenest relish for the 
aesthetical. The word "proper" with him embraced not only what 
was befitting, in good phase and seeming, but what was just, manly 
and right in itself. His education partook of the French school, and 
it modified his English temperament, American habits and Virginian 
abandon into a peculiar form. It made him self-possessed in his 
manner, and no scion of chivalry was ever more manly; and yet 
there was inexplicably mixed in him qualities confused in the com- 
position, which made him seem to strangers what he was not — some- 
what haughty in his carriage. There was a geniality mixed with a 
hauteur uncongenial; a hearty laugh contrasted with the sternest 
frown; a brusqueness with a reticent and commanding dignity; a 
John Bull blufifness with a French-like air of finished politeness; 
a Virginian old plantation way with marked attention to niceties; a 
jealous regard for conventional forms, and yet he would violate them 
imperiously. His integrity was sterling — exact to truth; his firmness 
was rock-like; his sense of honor was of the highest tone, and his 
every word and action was guided by a discretion always sound and 
always on guard. In the family, both of his father and his own home 
at Winchester, he was the model of husband, father, son and brother; 
among his friends and associates he was supreme in their confidence, 
and he was among the few men known ever to have magnified by the 
nearer approach to him; he was greater near to him than he appeared 
to be at a distance, because he preferred the intrinsic and real to any 
looming of the mirage of greatness, and he was far higher in his 
moral than in his mental faculties and powers. A man thus stamped 
with the seal of nobleness could not fail to attract the homage of 
those around him, or to be afforded the opportunities for the aspira- 
tions he indulged. Honest, he was trusted; discreet, he was relied 
on to "do justice and judgment;" and brave, all felt assured that 
he could make the "sacrifice" when called on. He did nobly make 
it at the last extremity, without a murmur and without soiling his 

A Tribute to Honorable James Murray Mason. 189 

.escutcheon; he made no palinode of his principles, and soiled not 
.his good faith. 

At that day Winchester was, though less than now, freely accessi- 
ble to Baltimore, Alexandria and Washington city. He was often 
at the two latter places and had full intercourse with the leading men 
of the day. He had the highest admiration for John Randolph, of 
Roanoke, and Mr. Randolph had an exalted admiration for him. 
It was, if we remember aright, in 1828, when the presidential can- 
vass was going on between General A. Jackson and Mr. John 
Quincy Adams, that Mr. Randolph made his inimitable speech in 
the Senate of the United States, comparing wisdom and knowledge, 
the personations of which were Jackson and Adams, contrasted. It 
was unique in all its characteristics, extremely eloquent, and nicely 
-critical, and was, perhaps, the last, if not the first, speech of Mr. 
Randolph which he ever reported for himself. 

He called it his " longo emendacior" speech, had it printed in 
pamphlet form, and circulated it among his friends and those whom 
he specially admired. One of the copies was inscribed by him to 
Mr. Mason as " a worthy son of worthy sires." This was written 
on the back of the printed speech, and it is to be hoped that the 
copy has been preserved. It was an encomium which any man 
might envy, and this was before Mr. Mason had any prestige of 
public service — whilst he was a young man and before he took his 
seat in Congress. A young man, just thirty-one years of age, might 
well be proud to have a compliment such as this paid to him by the 
most sensitive and observing critic of his age. 

In such a community as then governed itself in Frederick, Mr. Ma- 
son was soon called into the public service. He was sent to the 
House of Delegates in the General Assembly of Virginia, where so 
many great men had found a school to train them for usefulness and 
for the glory of their country. The halls of the General Assembly 
were then graced by a galaxy of talents, such as those of John 
Thompson Brown and others, his peers, and the city of Richmond 
was then rich in the grand social graces of the great houses of the 
olden time, in the midst of which Mr. Mason shone and became gen- 
erally known in the State. In the year 1837, in the fortieth year of 
his age he was elected to the House of Representatives of the Con- 
gress of the United States, and served one term, until 1839, when 
he betook himself again to his profession, and was, eight years there- 
after, in the year 1847, elected to the Senate of the United States. 
He was never distinguished there for any one great speech, or re- 

190 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

port or measure, but his whole course was so sensible, dignified and 
discreet, as to be worthy of Conscript Fathers, and he was for years 
at the head of the high Commmittee of Foreign Relations.* He was 
twice re-elected, and before his third term expired, he was obliged 
to retire by the impending Civil War, which threatened all he held 
dear, and summoned him to the defence of his mother State of Vir- 
ginia. He sought no distinction in either house of Congress, but 
contented himself with the even tenor of his way, doing his duty 
diligently, conserving the Constitution of the Federal Government, 
and guarding the rights of the States and the liberties of the people. 
To any and all opponents he yielded nothing on these points, and 
was practical and persistent in his course. He was always practical 
on questions of mere expediency, where no question of morals was 
concerned; and the moment any question of moral obligation arose, 
involving the faith and truth of men and States, he knew where the 
true practical was, which but few men ever know, and they are sel- 
dom distinguished in public political life. When the Constitution, 
which the faith of men and States was pledged to support, was vio- 
lated, he paused not to consider what was the present profit of sub- 
mission; and when self-respect and honor called upon him to 
vindicate both, he counted not the cost of contending for both. He 
knew by his honorable instincts, trained by the discipline of his 
childhood, by the associations of his youth, and by the calls of his 
manhood, that there was no profit in sacrificing sound morals to a 
dread of defeat, or to the dross of immediate gains. He counted 
the cost, and knew the danger of loss for the time, but also knew 
that to be practical in the end was to be true to the moral law, and 

Though a staunch, unwavering Democrat, he was never a mere 
partizan; party was his servant, not his master, and he adhered to it 
only as long as it violated no fundamental law or principles, and kept 
good faith. When its representatives proved hesitating or recreant 
in defending the Constitution, in protecting the people, and in pre- 
serving the public peace against the enemies of all three, he then 
proudly and independently was relf-reliant, and claimed the right of 
self-government for himself and for his constituents. 

In the conflict of States as to what was the fundamental law, he 
took the side of strict Construction, and of Limited Powers — as his 
fathers before him did against George III; and considering the cov- 

* He was the author of the Fugutive Slave Law of 1850. 

A Tribute to Honorable James Murray Mason. 191 

enant and bond of union broken, he espoused the cause of the 
Southern Confederacy, "without fear and without reproach." He 
was incapable of treason. In the war he was honored by President 
Davis with the high trust, jointly with Mr. Slidell, of Commissioner 
to the European Powers; his residence was in England, and he was 
most efficient in obtaining credit, in furthering Confederate priva- 
teering, and in putting his Government and people in the most re- 
spective attitude before the nations and courts of Europe. 

On the passage out in October, 1861, he and Mr. Slidell arrived 
at Havanna, sailed thence on the royal mail steamer Trent, for En- 
gland, and on the 8th of November, the Trent was boarded by the 
United States war steamer San Jacinto, Captain Wilkes in command, 
and the Confederate Commissioners were captured as prisoners of 
war, and taken from the British deck to Boston. This was the first 
time that under any such pretext the British flag was ever violated 
on the high seas, under Britain's own old pretension of the right of 
search and seizure, by a United States man-of-war under that same 
old pretension of Great Britain. After the United States, from In- 
dependence day down to that time had fought against that pretension 
and in favor of "Free Trade and Sailor's rights," against Great 
Britain, and had at last by treaty gained the abandonment of any 
such claim on the part of England, Captain Wilkes attempted to 
set it up and enforce it on the part of the United States against the" 
flag of England herself. The prisoners were sent to Fort Warren, 
but were quickly, though not gracefully surrendered on the peremp- 
tory demand of Great Britain. We would gladly recall an incident 
at the time of this capture, or during the captivity of Mr. Mason, 
which went the rounds of the papers at the time, illustrative of the 
lofty bearing of the old cavalier, erect, stern, dignified, and com- 
manding, cutting in his manner and wit like a two-edged sword; but 
the particulars of the incident escape our memory. The Puritan 
who accosted him with religious tracts, was so shocked that he set 
him down as an irredeemable infidel. But Mr. Mason was no infidel, 
and we rejoice to be informed that in his last hours he had the min- 
istering of the venerable Bishop Johns, now the head of that Epis- 
copacy in the State which consecrated the house at Occaquon, in the 
county of Fairfax, where George Mason led his family of old to 
worship God. 

After the war Mr. Mason remained a while in England, then came 
to Canada, and there remained until within the last two years, when 

192 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

assured that his person would be safe in returning to Virginia, here 
to die among his household gods, and the silent and familiar things 
of his reminiscences, and the few faithful friends who remained true 
to his faith and their own. 

It was not in the course of nature, or in the reason of things that 
he could remain with us longer. The disasters to the Confederacy 
and the South, the wounds to his pride, the aching agony of seeing 
all his hopes of liberty and self-government and the State Rights 
blasted, and the desecration of sacred things, and the devastation 
and demoralization he witnessed on coming home, were too much 
tension on the nerves of an aged man of delicate sensibilities and 
proud sense of honor. After toiling for a settlement near his father's 
old home at Claremont, near Alexandria, and fixing for a quiet re- 
tirement, his system collapsed, and he fell under paralysis. His last 
moments were without pain, and he died as he had lived, composed 
and firm, April 29, 1871. 

He was an honest man, a highly cultivated gentleman, a well 
trained and practised lawyer, a sound statesman, and a pure patriot. 
And assure as the assurance of God's own word that "he who 
doeth truth, cometh to the Light," James M. Mason's great and 
grand soul, unstained by earth in the natural life, hath now come in 
the spirit to the Light of Heaven. 

B. M. T. Hunter. 193 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, Dec. 5, 1897.] 


An Address by Colonel L. Q. Washington. 


Mr. Hunter's Birth, Education, Early Environments and Public Life. 

This address was to have been read at a joint meeting of the R. 
M. T. Hunter Monument Association and the Board of Supervisors 
of Essex county, appointed to be held at Tappahannock on the 24th 
of September, but which, owing to unavoidable causes, had to be 
postponed until the 20th of December. 


Gentlemen — Some six years ago, in the town of Fredericksburg, 
I had the honor to preside over a meeting composed of influential 
citizens of this Commonwealth, when the initial steps were taken to 
organize an association for the purpose of removing the remains of 
the Hon. R. M. T. Hunter from their place of burial in Essex 
county, Virginia, to the capital of the State, at Richmond, and of 
erecting a monument at the tomb; and also of arranging such other 
testimonials of respect for his eminent public character and services, 
as might be deemed appropriate. It is due to the Hon. J. B. Sener, 
of Fredericksburg, to state here, that he was, so far as I know, the 
first person to suggest such action; and he has, with others, steadily 
cherished and promoted the consummation of this praiseworthy pur- 
pose. The Chair, by authority of the meeting, appointed a com- 
mittee whose duty it was to obtain from the General Assembly of 
Virginia, a special charter of incorporation, for themselves and other 
citizens to be associated with them, to carry out the design of the 
meeting. That committee consisted of the following gentlemen: 

Hon. T. R. B. Wright, of Essex; St. George R. Fitzhugh, Judge 
J. B. Sener, Rufus B. Merchant and Hon. J. H. Kelly, of Frede- 
ricksburg; William F. Drinkard, Joseph Bryan, William Ryan, Rev. 
Dr. John B. Newton, General Archer Anderson, Colonel Frank G. 
Rufhn and Judge Waller R. Staples, of Richmond; Ex-Governor 

194 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Fitzbugh Lee, of Glasgow; Judge William J. Robertson, of Char- 
lottesville; General Eppa Hunton, of Warrenton; Major Holmes 
Conrad, of Winchester; Hon. John Goode, of Norfolk, and Hon. 
Taylor Berry, of Amherst. 

Most of these gentlemen were personal friends of the deceased 
statesman, but there was no purpose of limiting the committee, ex- 
cept to representative Virginians. 

This committee met at Richmond on December 2, 1891, and were 
aided by the presence and counsel of a number of distinguished 
gentlemen, including members of the General Assembly of Virginia. 
General Joseph R. Anderson was elected chairman, and a committee 
was appointed to draft a charter of incorporation. The organiza- 
tion was afterwards perfected by the selection of a Board of Direc- 
tors, with Dr. G. Watson James as Secretary, and Colonel William 
H. Palmer as Treasurer of the Association. 

This body was incorporated by the General Assembly by an act 
approved February 2, 1892, and all the powers then deemed neces- 
sary to promote the object were conferred upon the corporation. 

I need not dwell upon the impoverishment of many worthy citi- 
zens of Virginia, and the other causes which have impeded and 
postponed the execution of the objects for which this Association 
was formed. The question for us to-day is, can these obstacles be 
removed and our design consummated ? It will not fail. It must 
not fail. We meet here to-day in the very county in which Robert 
M. T. Hunter was born, and where his home was; in the county 
that he loved; among the very people, or their children, whom he 
loved and respected, and whose unfailing confidence was to him 
always an inspiration and a just source of pride; to further this tri- 
bute to the most distinguished son of Essex. There can be no 
honor paid to his memory that does not also reflect honor upon this 
old county on the Rappahannock and upon the Commonwealth of 

I would not be justified in obtruding upon your patience a full and 
complete account of Mr. Hunter's life and public services. That 
duty devolves upon his biographer and the future historian who shall 
faithfully narrate the history of the country from the year 1836 down 
to the time when the conquest of the Southern States relegated so 
many of their eminent sons to poverty and private station. But 
surely I may be permitted, in brief phrase, to glance at the distin- 
guished, influential and useful part borne by this great but modest 
Virginian during the critical era in which his life was cast. It was 

R. M. T. Hunter. 195 

often a time that tried men's souls, and only the pure gold survived 
the crucible. 


Mr. Hunter was born in this little county on the 21st April, 1809. 
It is a country neighborhood, without a city or a large town, sparsely 
settled in his time and ours. I am aware, and probably you are, 
that there is a modern school of thought which assumes that for an 
intellectual growth a man should be born and reared in a city or a 
closely settled neighborhood — a hothouse, so to speak, in which his 
brain and energies are to be stimulated to the highest degree. But 
history gives little warrant for such an assumption. The great men 
of this country certainly were nearly all of them country bred. 
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Calhoun, Patrick Henry, 
John Marshall, George Mason, John Randolph, Henry Clay, Henry 
A. Wise, Abel P. Upshur, William C. Rives, Silas Wright, Thomas 
H. Benton, Andrew Jackson, Francis P. Blair, Abraham Lincoln, 
William J. Bryan, and many more I could adduce were the product 
of country life — of plantation life — and almost without exception had 
not only the plantation manners, in which dignity and good breeding 
were happily blended, but possessed also the genius and force in 
affairs which plantation life and duties and contact with Nature rather 
than with the mob tended to develop. You do not find the best 
trees among those which are crowded close together. Individuality, 
self-reliance, decision, thoughtfulness, study, gentleness, charity, 
truth, purity of morals — all these noblest adjuncts to mental growth 
and distinction flourish on the farm far better than in the heat and 
dust and turmoil of the great city, with its wealthy few and unfortu- 
nate multitude. Born on the plantation, loving Nature and honest 
country folk, our great statesman was, through his entire public 
career, always happy and eager to return to his home and native air 
in Essex. He did not linger in Washington or even Richmond 
longer than his public functions absolutely required. 

So, if I were called on to specify the formative influences of Mr. 
Hunter's character, I should certainly include country life, planta- 
tion life and influences, association and sympathy with the country 
people of Virginia, the fireside and historical traditions of the old 
Commonwealth, the study of history, and especially of Virginia his- 
tory, and of the character and teachings of her great men. He was 
proud of them all in his own modest, gentle way, and to the last, 
very proud of the Commonwealth which had called him so often to 

196 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

her service, and called him because he represented perfectly and 
fully the best type of Virginia character and principles. 

Mr. Hunter was indeed fortunate in those surroundings and early 
associations which go so far to shape character, and to develop a 
sure and healthful growth of every faculty. He was extremely for- 
tunate also in being an alumnus of that grand institution of learning, 
the University of Virginia — the favorite child of the illustrious Jef- 
ferson, the first university of this country, and very long the only 
one, and the first as I conceive, to embody in our land, the breadth, 
wise liberality, thoroughness of culture, and high standards of schol- 
arship and character, which were needed to equip a young man for 
a great professional or political career. This scholastic training, the 
fruits of which pervade all Mr. Hunter's public addresses, was fol- 
lowed by the study of law at Winchester, under the invaluable direc- 
tion of Judge Henry St. George Tucker. 

His public life began when he was twenty-five years of age. He 
was elected a member of the General Assembly of Virginia. Young 
as he was, we find him discussing the more serious and difficult 
questions of finance and banking. The great political questions on 
which parties were dividing, also came before the Legislature, as they 
had done often in the old days. Mr. Hunter met these issues upon 
a consistent theory of constitutional construction and policy, yet one 
of perfect independence from extremes of party bigotry and dicta- 
tion. He aimed only to get the truth and to be right. At the very 
outset and in the very flush and ardor of youth, he displayed the 
moderation and equipoise which characterized his career to the 

He was then, as always, an advocate of a strict construction of the 
Federal Constitution and of States' Rights. He regarded these 
ideas as the very foundation-stone of political liberty and good gov- 
ernment. The special friends of that creed first elected him to Con- 
gress in the year 1837. He took a part in the debates of the House. 
How well he bore himself may be judged by the feet that at the 
very next Congress he was chosen Speaker of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. He was then only thirty years of age. Among his pred- 
ecessors in this very high office were Nathaniel Macon, Henry Clay, 
Langdon Cheves, Philip P. Barbour, Andrew Stevenson, John 
Bell and James K. Polk. Polk was his immediate predecessor as 
Speaker. To the next Congress Mr. Hunter was again chosen a 
representative. In this body he had occasion to discuss all the great 
party questions of the day which preceded the sectional question — 

R. M. T. Hunter. 197 

the last a mere cloud in the sky at that day, but destined soon to 
loom up and obscure the entire horizon. Thrown by a new appor- 
tionment into a partially new congressional district, he was beaten 
as a candidate for the Twenty-eighth Congress by a small majority; 
but two years afterwards he was easily elected to the Twenty-ninth 
Congress. This was the first Congress of Mr. Polk, whom he had 
helped to elect to the presidency. In this Congress he promoted 
the establishment of the Independent Treasury — a measure strongly 
opposed, but which vindicated itself and soon ceased to be a party 
issue. He also earnestly supported the celebrated revenue tariff bill 
of 1846, known in after years as the Walker tariff; and he also 
favored the warehouse system. The last measure was largely, if not 
wholly, his work. Its vast importance and place in modern com- 
mercial transactions is known to every merchant in the land; but 
how few of them know and are grateful to the statesman who did 
most to give it a permanent place in our fiscal system! On the sub- 
ject of the tariff, Mr. Hunter followed the teachings of Adam Smith, 
Ricardo, McCulloch and the great political economists of Europe, 
whose works have built up the doctrine of free exchange of pro- 
ducts, upheld in this country by Jefferson, Calhoun, Silas Wright, 
and numbers of our greatest thinkers and patriots, and held abroad 
by Peel, Cobden, Bright, Bastiat and Gladstone. 


In the same Congress he actively and most wisely promoted the 
retrocession of Alexandria to Virginia — a policy dear to every heart 
in the Commonwealth, and destined, as I hope, never to be surren- 
dered at the bidding of alien speculators and jobbers. The long 
and dangerous contention with England over the Oregon boundary 
was also settled at this Congress by the wise and patriotic statesman- 
ship of Webster, Calhoun and Benton. In this patriotic work Mr. 
Hunter co-operated. But it required no common nerve and sagacity 
for a public man to take then a position which all can now see and 
admit was the very essence of wisdom and state-craft. It was a race 
for empire, and our country, with greatly inferior naval power and 
no easy land communication at that hour across the continent, has 
won the race. We sacrificed a pawn to win a queen. A war with 
England at that time might have cost us Oregon and the whole coast. 

By this time — 1846 — the war with Mexico had begun, and the 
slavery agitation had broken out afresh by the claim of the anti- 

198 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

slavery agitators to apply the Wilmot proviso interdicting the carry- 
ing of slaves to any country which might be acquired from Mexico 
as the result of a successful war. Mr. Hunter cherished the Union 
of the States, and he loved peace always; but, pacific as he was by 
nature and principle, he would not consent to any measure that 
destroyed the equality of the Southern States in the Federal Union. 
At that very hour two-thirds of the soldiers imperilling their lives for 
the country in the Mexican war were from the South, and more than 
half the others were Democrats who disapproved of the abolition 
crusade. Perhaps, however, I ought to bear in mind that ingrati- 
tude is the cardinal principle of modern politics. 

In 1846 Mr. Hunter was elected by the General Assembly, to the 
United States Senate. He took his seat in December, 1847. As a 
result of the reputation he had already achieved in the other branch 
of Congress, he was placed on the Finance Committee — by far the 
most important committee of the Senate, and the one having charge 
then, not only of all revenue measures, but also of all the appropria- 
tions of the National Government. At the session of 1850-51, Mr. 
Hunter became the chairman of the Finance Committee. "The 
revenue is the State," said a great statesman of the Old World. 

Mr. Hunter's tastes and studies fitted him especially for all this 
class of questions, To recount his work upon them would be im- 
possible. He filled this position up to the spring of 1861, when he 
left the Senate. On all the questions and topics belonging to this 
committee he had the unbounded confidence of his brother Senators 
of every party and section. His integrity, purity, and knowledge 
of affairs, gave him an almost absolute veto on everything corrupt, 
base or dangerous in fiscal legislation. He was deemed a safe, con- 
servative man; a watch-dog of the Treasury — not a mere barking 
dog, but a faithful and incorruptible sentinel. He shaped and car- 
ried through the compromise tariff bill of 1857 — a measure supported 
not only by the Democrats, but by many prominent northern Re- 
publicans, by William H. Seward, Henry Wilson, N. P. Banks, 
Salmon P. Chase, and others. They were content to follow a Vir- 
ginian of the Virginians. His statement of what any provision in a 
bill he had in charge, meant or effected was enough. His candor 
and truth were a power and a pillar of fire. You have to-day at 
Washington, a great court to examine and consider claims against 
the United States Government. The government creditor, instead 
of vainly hanging around Congress and growing gray-haired in a 
hopeless quest for justice, has his "day in court." Search the his- 

E. M. T. Hunter. 199 

tory of this court and you will find its sure prop and pillar, the life 
tenure of its judges, is the proposition of your man of Essex. He 
helped to breathe into it the breath of life and to organize it upon an 
enduring and impregnable basis of judicial impartiality and inde- 

You hear much nowadays of " civil-service reform," and of apply- 
ing the merit system to all minor and clerical employments of the 
Federal government. Who was the first man to move in this matter ? 
I answer that one of the first to agitate the subject, the one who 
made it a hobby from year to year, and who finally formulated a wise 
and practical measure to effect it, was again your man of Essex — R. 
M. T. Hunter. It passed in his very words, and thus became the 
law of the land. It is a sound, sensible, moderate and constitutional 
measure. If it were the law to-day, and duly enforced, and had 
never been tampered with by demagogues and ignorant men, it 
would secure efficient employees for the government, protect their 
tenure better than your present law, protect also the best interests of 
the government, and it would be an admirable substitute for the 
present bastard system of cant and hypocrisy, doubtful in its consti- 
tutionality, and almost universally regarded as having sunk into eva- 
sion, trickery and fraud, with features that no sensible business man, 
no president of a bank or manager of a business establishment ever 
acts upon in private life. I say, therefore, that we are indebted to 
Mr. Hunter for the only good law ever passed upon this subject. 


We have had on two continents, and especially on this continent, 
a long and heated controversy over the coinage question. It has 
engaged the intellects of the ablest men in modern times. In 1851, 
1852 and 1853, long before parties ever divided on this question, Mr. 
Hunter, as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, found it in 
his pathway and dealt with it exhaustively. Rejecting the shallow 
Mint-Bureau plan of Mr. Secretary Corwin — an echo of the British 
system of coinage, not offensively, but simply ignoring it — he form- 
ulated a measure regulating the coinage, which passed the Senate 
unanimously, without debate, precisely as he wrote it and upon his 
sole ipse dixit. Next, but after some delay, this identical measure 
passed the House of Representatives and became a law in February, 
1853 — to remain the law of the land without question or cavil from 
Presidents Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln, Johnson and Grant. Such 
was his power in the United States Senate in a period of fierce party 

200 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

strife on a great organic and economic question, opposing, as he did 
then, the Secretary's recommendation. I have heard or read this 
coinage debate from 1874, when it began, till now, over twenty years 
of parliamentary struggle, and if I were called upon to name a doc- 
ument which best expounds the true principles of finance and states- 
manship on this difficult subject, and in a perfectly unanswerable 
manner, free from ill-temper or bias and full of wise prescience and 
overwhelming argument, I should name the report made by Robert 
M. T. Hunter in March, 1852, to the United States Senate, which 
accompanied the bill proposed by him to regulate the gold and silver 

Mr. Hunter spoke also on foreign affairs as such questions came 
up. He was conservative by nature and habit. He did not love or 
desire sectional controversy, but in that trying period of agitation 
and controversy he stood by the institutions, the civilization, and the 
constitutional rights of the South. He did this without sectional or 
personal rancor, but with a firmness, learning, eloquence and argu- 
mentative power that made him second to none in the debate. The 
very men who voted against him on these sectional questions never 
impugned his motives or questioned his ability, and on the fiscal and 
administrative questions which was especially confided to his care 
they trusted him far more than they trusted each other. Can you 
imagine a more splendid triumph of Virginia mind and character. 

I have preferred to speak not so much of his stand on party or 
sectional questions as on measures and policies where he acted with 
or led men of both parties. This sketch is but a passing glance 
at a long, laborious and brilliant career. Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Clay 
and Mr. Webster all left the Senate, or died in the Senate, about 
1851 or 1852. When this grand triumvirate had departed, there 
were yet many strong men who served in that body with Mr. Hunter 
from 1850 to 1 861 who have made a great impress upon our history. 
I need hardly mention such great names as Senators Mason, Toombs, 
Jefferson Davis, Benjamin, Stephen A. Douglas, Seward, Sumner, 
Chase, Trumbull, Bayard, Slidell and Crittenden. Yet I can truth-, 
fully assert that of this list of very able men, not one was superior in 
general, all-' round ability to Mr. Hunter; not one was his equal in 
legislative force and influence; not one was so universally confided in 
and trusted. Since the passing away of Jefferson, Madison, Mar- 
shall and Monroe, hardly any Virginian has borne so influential a part 
in political affairs as R. M. T. Hunter, and certainly no Virginian 
has done so in the Federal Congress, though the Commonwealth has 

M. M. T. Hunter. 201 

had many sons who were wise and eloquent in council. To be pre- 
eminent, or even prominent, in such a galaxy as hers, demanded the 
very highest qualities of mind and character. 

When the great and regrettable contest between the North and 
the South arose, Mr. Hunter held that the South was simply stand- 
ing on her constitutional rights. He held that it was her right and 
duty to resist aggression. He stated his position in temperate, 
thoughtful, conciliatory, but firm language. At no time of his life 
did he for one moment doubt the perfect justice and truth of the 
Southern cause. I met and conferred with him frequently during 
the winter of 1860-61, preceding the civil conflict. Gladly would 
he have welcomed a settlement between the contending States on 
the firm basis of constitutional rights for both sections, safety for his 
own people, malice and injury to none, and an enduring peace with 
honor. That was not to be. He left the Senate in March, 1861, 
following not the suggestions of personal ambition or his own inter- 
est, but the hard and rugged path of duty. Very soon afterwards 
the Commonwealth of Virginia sent him as one of her representa- 
tives to the new government at Montgomery. He performed that 
mission. On the 21st of July, 1861, he was called by President 
Davis to take the position of Secretary of State for the Confederacy, 
from which Mr. Toombs, of Georgia, had resigned. He filled that 
important trust with eminent ability until the new, or "permanent," 
Confederate Constitution and Government went into operation on 
the 22d of February, 1862. 

Prior to that event the Commonwealth of Virginia elected Mr. 
Hunter, and, as I remember, unanimously, to the Confederate Senate. 
It was a most critical period, and demanded the greatest ability and 
resource, both in the executive and legislative departments of the 
already hard-pressed Confederacy. Mr. Hunter was made President 
pro tempore of the Senate. His influence was great and command- 
ing. His advice, counsel and influence were not only felt and wel- 
comed in all the great measures of military defence and equipment 
then adopted, but even in the selection of officers for important com- 
mands. He was a steady friend of President Davis in respect to all 
the great measures of defence and supply. He had the friendship 
and confidence of Mr. Davis and his Cabinet; of James A. Seddon, 
John A. Campbell, Graham, Cobb, Lamar, Curry, Letcher, Bocock, 
Harvie, Caperton, Joe Johnston and Robert E. Lee. He was one of 
the first to discover and appreciate the superb genius of Stonewall 

202 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Jackson. He counselled often with Robert E. Lee, relied on his ripe 
judgment, and gave him his fullest support. In all fiscal and eco- 
nomic measures, he naturally took the lead. Respecting and trust- 
ing Secretaries Memminger andTrenholm, he, nevertheless, originated 
all the general features of Confederate finance. With an infant re- 
public, compelled by a powerful adversary to incur an enormous 
war expenditure, and not able to export its surplus products or even 
fully to raise them for the markets, it is not strange that Confederate' 
money should have sunk to so low an ebb as it finally did. The 
only wonder is that it did not fall much earlier and more rapidly. 
We may recall with instruction and profit the fate of the assignats of 
the French Revolutionary government and of the Continental money 
of our first Confederacy of 1776. Had the second Confederacy 
proved a military success, as did the first one, and as the first French 
republic did, possibly the fertile mind of Hunter might have been 
able to devise some solution of the financial problem based on ripe 
experience and a study of modern conditions; but after four years of 
noble and fearful struggle against gigantic odds, our righteous cause 
went down in gloom and disaster. All was lost save honor. The 
public careers of Hunter, Davis, Lee and many more were virtually 
closed at this point; but their names, the memories of their splendid 
services, their virtues and, still more, their sacrifices, will never be 
forgotten by the people of the South or by the pen of history. 

Mr. Hunter realized towards the close of the struggle the hope- 
lessness of a protracted contest, and he was anxious to do something 
to save the South from total subjugation and a conquest without any 
terms of peace. The problem proved an impracticable one, for rea- 
sons on which I may speak another time, but his motives were 
humane, disinterested and pure, as they always were. The blame 
for failure belongs to the ambitious men at Washington, who, seeing 
final victory almost in their grasp, would not spare either Southern 
misery or Northern blood in their stern purpose to become absolute 
masters of the situation. The government of the Union being thus 
re-established by the sword, Mr. Hunter regarded it as his duty to 
accept the Union in good faith, and, as a good citizen, to co-operate 
with patriotic men in every section to restore the reign of law and 
order and the Federal Constitution. This was the sentiment of Vir- 
ginia and the South. It was deeply unfortunate that this sentiment 
was not at once recognized and acted on by the dominant party, 
instead of adopting, as they did, the policy of hate, military rule 

R. M. T. Hunter. 203 

and disfranchisement. Men like Hunter, Campbell, Baldwin, Ste- 
phens and Lee ought to have been invited to public positions, to 
help to restore the old Union, and then, instead of a vulgar sec- 
tional conquest, keeping the South as a mere province for long, 
weary years to be harried and plundered and lied about, there would 
have been a genuine restoration of the Union and a rapid growth of 
the old national feeling, in which consists the real strength of the 
Republic. Well did the eloquent Kossuth say: "Hatred is no 
good counsellor." No government built on hate can stand, or 
ought to stand. 

In this sketch I have omitted much and I have elaborated nothing. 
A regard for your time, and for the superior knowledge of man/ of 
those around me, admonishes me to be as brief as possible. I will 
not close, however, without averring my belief that not even George 
Washington himself (to whose character and services Mr. Hunter 
lias rendered the most original and instructive tribute ever uttered 
by man), was more pure, disinterested, and patriotic than he was in 
his public action. Gentleness, charity, and truth were bound up in 
his very nature. Of malice he had none. He was not devoid of 
ambition, but he had none of the vulgar arts of self-seeking, and the 
distinctions which came to him so often came unsought. He was easy 
•of access, affable to the humblest citizen, always open to the sugges- 
tion and advice of his friends; never dogmatic or disputatious, never 
rash or aggressive. In his time of greatest prosperity and power, 
he was modest almost to diffidence, When trial and adversity came, 
as they did, " not as single spies, but in battalions," he bore depri- 
vation and affliction with a singular fortitude. He suffered with and 
for the South. A special expedition of marauders was dispatched 
by Butler, which, emulating the savagery of the British during the 
Revolutionary War in Virginia, destroyed his plantation in his ab- 

After the war closed he was made a State prisoner, imprisoned at 
Fort Pulaski, subjected to coarse and brutal treatment, such as no 
Southern gentleman ever deals out to a negro, and when a beloved 
child was being borne to the grave, he, who had never harmed or 
wished to harm a human being, was denied the privilege of dropping 
a tear on the grave, or offering comfort to the bereaved mother. 
He was not sordid. He was too old fashioned for that. His life at 
Washington as a Senator of great influence, was as simple and un- 
ostentatious as that of any plain Virginia farmer. With ample op- 

204 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

portunities for acquiring wealth in public office, he amassed nothing, 
and the results of the war, left him poor indeed. He died a poor 
man — poor in this world's goods, but rich, immeasurably rich, in 
honor. I knew him long and closely. To know him was to love 
and venerate him. To have known him and to have enjoyed his 
friendship and confidence till the hour of his death, I shall always 
count as a privilege, and a most precious remembrance. 

To the rear of the present hall of the House of Representatives 
at Washington, there is a long gallery in which are hung up the por- 
traits of all the illustrious men who have been the Speakers of the 
body. There you see Henry Clay, Cobb, Andrew Stevenson, Polk, 
Kerr, Randall, James G. Blaine, and the present able occupant of 
the chair, Mr. Reed. There, too, you see the youthful, almost boy- 
ish, face of Speaker R. M. T. Hunter, of Virginia, ingenuous, open, 
true and strong — there is no dark shadow on that brow, no wrinkle 
written by sorrow and care, but rather the light of hope and of a 
confident, brave soul. To me, as I wander there and involuntarily 
turn my gaze upon it, there is hardly anything more touching than 
to contrast, as I must, this portrait with the saddened, melancholy 
face which haunts my memory of him who, burdened with private 
grief and public calamity, had, like the patriot, Grattan, survived 
the liberties of his country, and who, loving Virginia as he did, was 
called on to witness and mourn the unspeakable shame of a great 
State that had given Washington and Jefferson to the country, and 
by the wisdom and patriotism of her sons, had secured to all the 
Colonies freedom and a government of consent, subjugated by arms, 
plundered, oppressed and scourged by the very communities she had 
so generously warmed into life. He saw the sad story of Poland's 
conquest and dismemberment, so eloquently told by the poet, Camp- 
bell, reproduced in the New World, with fresh horrors and the added 
element of ingratitude by the conquerors. He saw his mother — 
Virginia — with bleeding breast, in her hour of agony — 

" Find not a generous friend, a pitying foe, 
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe." 

I have said Mr. Hunter was a conservative. No man loved truth 
more, or was quicker to discern abstract principles; but in action for 
the State he belonged to the wise school of Edmund Burke. His 
theory of public duty was the attainment of the best political results 
under existing conditions and circumstances. He would take the 

R. M. T. Hunter. 205 

half loaf. His mind was eminently practical. He did not seek to 
tear down institutions, but to build up, to preserve what was good, 
to develop so as to gain a basis for national growth and the constant 
betterment of the masses. He opposed all class legislation. He 
was a friend to vested rights and to property and compacts. Peace, 
conciliation, fair argument, a study of the harmonies of our system — 
these were the weapons of his intellectual armory. The lessons of 
history were impressed into the very web and woof of his mind. 
Had he lived in the days of Jefferson, that great man would have 
called on him no less than on Madison to employ his fertile mind and 
ready pen to expound those doctrines of liberty and constitutional 
freedom which have made a great school of thought, destined to live 
as long as this republic shall survive. 

More than any one whom I have known in civic trusts, Mr. Hun- 
ter reminds me of the distinguished men of that revolutionary 
period — men strong, learned, composed, equal to any trust; who 
did not derive honor from office, but who dignified and ennobled 
public station. We have not had the great privilege of looking on 
the faces of those who built that wonderful edifice of free, constitu- 
tional government; but it is something to have known, as you and I 
have done, one who embodied so well in his character, mind, and 
purposes the best traditions of the heroic period of our republic, 
suggesting, as it does, the fervent, assured hope that the admiration 
of public virtue, which so deeply animates our people will bear rich 
fruit in after years, and continue to bring forth in every crisis that 
may come worthy men to serve the State and uphold the fame of 

206 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


A Letter from General Beauregard to General Wise 
Regarding the Battle, 


Difference between General Beauregard and General Bragg as to the 
War Policy at that Crisis. 

Now printed, as written, from the original, now owned by the 
grandson of General Wise, Mr. Barton Haxall Wise, of Richmond, 

Alleghany Springs, October 3, 1873. 

My dear General : Mr. Marrin has referred to me your letter of 
the 19th ulto. I give you, with pleasure, some of the dates you 
refer to. 

I arrived at Petersburg from Weldon (where I had been ordered 
to from Charleston to "await orders") on or about the 14th May, 
'64. Finding that General Pickett was very ill from fever, I ordered 
Genl. Whiting, then at Wilmington, to come at once to Petersburg 
to assume command, while I moved to Drury's Bluff, where Gen'l 
Hoke temporarily commanded. 

Gen'l W. arrived at about noon on the 13th, & after about one 
hour's conference with him & leaving with him some written general 
instructions, I started for Drury's. Bluff accompanied by 3 regiments 
of Colquitt's brigade & part of Col. Baker's Reg't of Cavalry. 

When we arrived at Swift Creek I was informed by one of my 
aids just returning from Rich'd that he had met some of Butler's 
Federal troops on their way to attack Drury's Bluff. I therefore di- 
verged to Chesterfield C. H., where we arrived about 12 h. P. M., 
& found it occupied by a small force of Federals which we drove 
out of the place. We reached D's Bluff about 3 h. A. M., in a 
terrible rain-storm, passing between Butler's left & the river. I at 
once sent for Col.s Harris and Stevens of the Eng'rs & after con- 
ferring with them about one hour, I sent the latter to the Pres't 
[Davis], to tell him that, if he w'd that day (the'i4th) send me 10,- 
000 men from the troops about Richmond (5,000 under Ransom) & 
Gen'l Lee's army, I w'd attack Butler's 30,000 men (who had been 
successful in the afternoon of the 13th in taking the outer line of de- 
fences) capture or destroy them by 12 h. on the 15th. I would then 
move to attack Grant on his left flank cS: rear, while Lee attacked 
him in front, & I felt sure of defeating Grant & probably open the 
way to Washington where we might dictate Peace! I 

Beauregard, Bragg and Drewry's Bluff. 207 

The Pres't being sick & very tired, Col. Stevens could not see 
him, but delivered my message to Gen'l Bragg with my request that 
the necessary order sh'd be issued at once, but he refused to do it, 
although mil'y adviser of the Pres't, without the orders of the latter 
& as he w'd not disturb him (!) he came to confer with me at D's b. 
where he arrived at about 6 h. A. M. 

After discussing my plan, which he agreed was the only one which 
might save Rich'd & the Conf 'cy, he still refused to issue the neces- 
sary orders. I then said to him " Bragg circumstances have thrown 
the fate of the Conf'cy in y'r hands & mine, let us play our parts 
boldly & fearlessly! issue those orders & I'll carry them out to the 
best of my ability. I'll guarantee success!" but he w'd not, say- 
ing that he w'd return at once to Rich'd & get the Pres't to issue 
them — about one hour after the latter arrived, & after a long con- 
ference, he refused to issue them, except as to Ransom's command, 
which came only on the morning of the 15th & the battle of D's b. 
was fought & won on the 16th — if Gen'l Whiting had obeyed my 
orders, which I sent him by three diff 't couriers on the afternoon of 
the 15th we w'd nevertheless have captured or destroyed Butler's 
army. Bragg' s last dispatch to Whiting could not have been dated 
before the 14th of May, for he only knew of my intended attack on 
the morning of that day. 

Fearful of interference from Rich'd in Gen'l Whiting's movement, 
I insisted as a part of my order to him, that he w'd obey no orders, 
from any source not passing through me. 

Such, General, are my recollections (distinct) of those events — 
which you will find in the No's, of the "Land We Love,'" or Bal- 
timore "Southern Magazine" in which they were published a few 
years since, numbers of which I sent you at the time. 

I regret that I have not a copy of Ransom's subterfuge in defence 
of Bragg or I w'd send it to you with pleasure, but you will probably 
find it in the back files of the Rich'd Whig, in which, I think, it was 
published, shortly after the Battle of Drury's bluff. 

With my kind regards to your family, & hoping that you may fur- 
nish Mr. Marrin with your recollections of that eventful period of our 
late war, 

I remain, Sincerely y'r friend 

G. T. Beauregard. 
Gen'l H. A. Wise, Rich'd, Va. 

P. S. — The events of the 15th, 16th, 17th & 18th of June, '64, 
about Petersburg were also critical & glorious. G. T. B. 

208 Southern Historical Society Papers. 



Delivered before Pickett Camp, Confederate Veterans, Richmond, Va. 
on March 8th, 1897, by Hon. John Lamb.* 

The deep interest taken by old soldiers in the delineation of any 
of the battles through which they passed, and the even deeper 
interest manifested by the younger generation, who never heard the 
sound of a hostile gun, is an encouragement and an inspiration to 
those who have the good fortune, after the lapse of so many years, to 
be able to call up some of the salient points in one of the most re- 
markable contests of modern times. The witness of any event, 
when asked to relate it, is apt to have his imagination fired, and 
thus to color the facts. There is unconscious exaggeration. Hence 
historians attach small value to memoirs written long years after the 
occurrence of events, and we naturally take with ' ' a grain of salt ' ' the 
enthusiastic utterances of our speakers on occasions like this. For- 
tunately, however, we have here the carefully prepared reports of 
the corps, division, brigade, and regimental commanders, on either 
side, written at the very time of the engagement; and by carefully 
•considering them we can arrive at a correct and intelligent opinion 
of the results. Only a few have the time or the taste to examine 
such reports critically, and we find in this fact the importance of 
your camp organizations, and the necessity for encouraging such 


While Daniel has graphically described the battle of Gettysburg, 
and thus added, if possible, to his fame as an orator; and McCabe, 
in the most beautiful word painting, has pictured the Crater in 
all its thrilling horrors, and helped to immortalize the heroes 
who figured in and around that pit of death; and Robinson, with 
his philosophical mind, has drawn from the Wilderness a history and 

* Captain Lamb took part in the seven days' fighting around Richmond. 
He was a member of the Charles City Troop, to which he refers, and was 
courier to General Magruder at the battle of Malvern Hill. He repeatedly 
crossed the field that day under the hot fire of the Federal guns, but escaped 

Malvern MIL 209 

a story that will instruct and delight succeeding generations; and 
Stiles, in your presence a few weeks ago, gave a most vivid and in- 
teresting history of Second Cold Harbor, — no one has, as yet, 
attempted to describe any part of the seven days' fight which took 
place in June, 1862, under the walls of this historic city. 

The most momentous, the least understood, and the severest criti- 
cised battle of that year was that of Malvern Hill. In order to under- 
stand why and how it was fought, it becomes necessary to examine 
the position of our troops on the day of the 30th, and to pass over 
the field of Glen Dale (Frazier's Farm) and witness the death -grap- 
ple of Longstreet with McCall and Sumner. 

On Sunday morning, June 29th, the divisions of Generals Long- 
street and A. P. Hill left their camp north of the Chickahominy, and 
marched, via the Long Bridge and Darbytown roads, to intercept Gen- 
eral McClellan in his retreat to James river. The distance of six- 
teen miles was made, and those weary survivors of the desperate 
encounters of the previous days camped on the Long Bridge road, 
within two miles of the retreating Federals, who were then passing 
Glen Dale, where the Long Bridge, Charles City, and Willis Church 
roads meet. 

While these two divisions were marching down the Darbytown 
road. Magruderwas engaging the enemy at Savage's Station on the 
York River road, and Jackson's forces were detained at Grape Vine 
bridge. Magruder, having lost 400 men killed and wounded, and 
having captured many prisoners, including one hospital with 2,500 
sick and disabled Federals, and inflicted a severe loss on the enemy, 
estimated at not less than 1,000, slept on the field that night; and 
early on Monday morning, the enemy in his front having retreated 
via White Oak, marched his whole command over to the Darby- 
town road, and at 2 o'clock reached Timberlake's Store. At 4 
o'clock he was ordered to New Market to the assistance of General 
Holmes. Between sunset and dark his front brigades were forming 
in the dense woods bordering the Long Bridge road, with the view of 
rendering this assistance. After dark, he was ordered to Longstreet; 
and, weary and footsore, these men marched to Glen Dale and oc- 
cupied the battlefield, where Longstreet and Hill had made their 
slendid fight unsupported, although 50,000 men were within a radius 
of three miles. 

General Huger's forces, consisting of Mahone's, Wright's, Armis- 
tead's and Ransom's brigades, were ordered down the Charles City 
road early Sunday morning, the 29th. At the request of General 

210 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Magruder, one brigade (Ransom's) was sent back; but, so far as we 
can learn from these reports, there was no interruption to the march 
of the other brigades down the Charles City road, until they reached 
Fisher's run, within three miles of the cross roads at Glen Dale. 
The enemy had blocked the road for a mile with felled trees, and 
planted their guns on the south side of the stream, and succeeded in 
detaining Mahone at that point all day. A flank movement of his 
infantry through the woods to his right would have turned the po- 
sition and placed him in easy reach of General Longstreet's left. 
Longstreet, in his report, complains of both Generals Jackson and 
Huger, saying that 50,000 were in easy hearing of the battle, yet 
none came in to co-operate with him. "Jackson should have done 
more for me than he did. When he wanted me at Second Manassas I 
marched two columns by night to clear the way at Thoroughfare Gap, 
and joined him in due season. ' ' We have seen why General Magruder 
did not reach him, and no blame can attach to that commander. 
That Franklin was able to hold Mahone and Armistead so long at 
Fisher's Run, or that those ambitious and enterprising brigadiers 
had not found a way to flank his position, will always be a mystery 
to the student of these detached fights made in thick woods and 
swamps, with raw troops, who were than only volunteer associations 
of men, without the drill and discipline necessary to make even of 
the very best material good and efficient soldiers. The detention of 
Gen. Jackson at White Oak Swamp, three miles in rear of Glen Dale, 
and only two miles to the left of Huger, was as unfortunate (though 
more easily accounted for), as the delay at Fisher's Run. General 
Jackson's troops reached White Oak Swamp at noon Sunday. The 
bridge was destroyed and the crossing commanded by the enemy's 
batteries. Jackson, in his report, says: "A heavy cannonading in 
front announced the engagement of General Longstreet at Frazier's 
Farm, and made me eager to press forward, but the strong position 
of the enemy for defending the passage, prevented my advancing 
until the following morning." 

Major Dabney, in his life of Jackson, says: "On this occasion it 
would appear, if the vast interests dependent upon General Jackson's 
co-operation with the proposed attack upon the centre were con- 
sidered, that he came short of the efficiency in action for which he 
was everywhere else noted." Then, after showing how the crossing 
might have been effected, Dabney adds: 'The list of casualties 
would have been larger than that presented on the 30th, of one can- 
noneer wounded; but how much shorter would have been the bloody 

Malvern Hill. 211 

list filled up the next day at Malvern Hill." Dr. Harvey Black, who 
was with General Jackson at the time, has often told me that the 
General was completely overcome by fatigue, and, having fallen 
asleep, it was impossible to arouse him, and that this was the cause 
of the delay at White Oak Swamp. 

Such was the position of the Confederate army at 2 o'clock on 

Monday, June 30th. 

frazier's farm. 

The Federal General McCall held a line near the Charles City 
cross-roads at Frazier's Farm, supported by Sumner and Heintzle- 
man. An artillery duel opened about 3 o'clock, and the second or 
third shell from the enemy's guns fell and burst in a little field, where 
sat General Lee, President Davis and General Longstreet, killing 
two or three horses and wounding several men. First, Kemper, then 
Jenkins, and after these, four other brigades of Longstreet' s division, 
charged through the thick woods and swamp, with a battle front of 
only three-fouths of a mile. McCall was soon thrown back on Sum- 
ner and Heintzleman. Battery after battery was taken and then 
lost. The woods were soon full of dead and dying men. A. P. 
Hill's division was then ordered in. Branch's, Field's and Pender's 
brigades were hotly engaged. Bayonets were crossed in those dark 
woods. In the language of General McCall: "Bayonet wounds 
were freely given and received. I saw skulls crushed by the heavy 
blows of the butt of the musket, and in short the desperate thrusts 
and parries of life and death encounter proved, indeed, that Greek 
had met Greek, when the Alabama boys fell upon the sons of Penn- 
sylvania." The battle raged with fury, and death held high carni- 
val. The 47th Virginia captured a battery and turned the guns on 
the enemy, and following up this success, captured Major-General 

The enemy fought with great desperation and gallantry. Feath- 
erstone's brigade was driven back in disorder, and Samuel McGowan, 
with the 14th South Carolina, came to their rescue with unsurpassed 
gallantry. On the right, two of our brigades were being repulsed, 
when Archer, in his shirt sleeves, at the head of his brigade, went 
in with the Confederate yell. Night was throwing its mantle over 
this scene of death and carnage, when Gen. J. R. Anderson, with his 
Georgia brigade, was ordered in, and forming two regiments in line 
on each side of the road, received the enemy's fire at seventy paces, 
and then engaged them in mortal combat. The volume of fire as it 
rolled along the line was terrific; every foot of ground was contested; 

212 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

and when darkness rendered it impossible to prolong the contest, the 
troops were mingled in such confusion that they wandered into the 
lines of the enemy in trying to find their respective commands. 

The Confederates had failed to get possession of the Willis Church 
road. Franklin glided past us in the night in easy reach of our 
artillery. Magruder relieved A. P. Hill about 2 o'clock in the 
morning of July 1st. Jackson followed Franklin over White Oak 
Swamp. Huger moved from the Charles City to the Long Bridge 
road, passing over the battlefield where he was so much needed the 
day before. 


Thus on the eventful day of July 1, 1862, the Confederate army 
was stretched along the Willis Church and Long Bridge roads. The 
enemy, having abandoned their position at Glen Dale during the 
night, were now safe behind the lines of Fitz-John Porter, who had 
carefully massed his artillery on the hills around Crew's house. The 
Ten Thousand/immortalized by Xenophan, did not hail the sea 
with more delight than did these soldiers, who were only changing 
their base, welcome the hills that overlooked the historic river on 
which their gun-boats floated. This position was, perhaps, the 
strongest occupied by any army during the war. The private sol- 
diers in the Federal army were quick to see this, and, their writers 
say, remarked on it as they filed into position. The private soldiers 
on both sides were then taking their first lessons in the ways of war; 
later, along the banks of the Antietam and on the heights of Gettys- 
burg, they proved themselves the best soldiers the world has ever 
seen. Crew's farm, and not Malvern Hill, was the scene of the en- 
gagement of July 1st. A range of hills, all the approaches to which 
could be swept by artillery; a swamp difficult to pass, and fringed 
by a skirt of woods east and north; on the west an open plateau 
commanded by the gun-boats in the James; on the south was Mal- 
vern Heights, frowning with reserve artillery, under the shelter of 
the gun-boats. In this impregnable position Fitz-John Porter awaited 
our attack. 

Before sunrise, General Magruder' s forces, having slept on the 
field at Frazier's Farm, were in line, and the advance was as far as 
Willis' Church, when an order came from General Lee to move on 
the Quaker road with his whole command. Calling to him three 
guides, and examining them separately to be sure as to which was 
the Quaker road, he changed the line of march, and, returning to 
the Long Bridge road, followed the same for about two miles, and 

Makem Hill 213 

then turned into the road that had been known for sixty years, and 
is known to-day, as the Quaker road. Having followed this road for 
nearly a mile, General Longstreet, whose troops were in reserve on 
the Long Bridge road, overtook Magruder's column, and after sev- 
eral moments of earnest conversation, in which he insisted that this 
could not be the Quaker road, desired that General Magruder should 
return and take another road nearly parallel to the one he was on, 
and form to the right of Huger, who was already getting into posi- 
tion on the right of Jackson. Thus was added another serious mis- 
take to the chapter of mishaps that had followed us for three days. 

While we find little in the written reports condemnatory of Gen- 
eral Magruder on this point, and nothing to show the displeasure of 
General Lee, whose patience must have been sorely tried, yet we 
have heard in the various criticisms on this battle enough to warrant 
any soldier who served under Magruder in coming to his defence; 
and I hope by a plain statement of the facts to vindicate his action 
and his memory to-night, in the presence of some who served under 
him, and many who admired his soldierly bearing. 

Leaving for the present our lines on the right, where Huger and 
Magruder are forming for the attack, we see that General Jackson 
has reached tire creek near the Parsonage, on the Willis Church 
road and Quaker road (the Federal map Quaker road) about noon. 
General D. H. Hill, in the Century Series, says: "At Willis Church 
I met General Lee. He bore grandly his terrible disappointment of 
the day before, and made no allusion to it. I gave him Mr. Allen's 
description of Malvern Hill, and presumed to say: 'If General 
McClellan is there in force we had better let him alone.' Longstreet 
laughed and said: 'Don't get scared now that you have got him 
whipped.' " A little later, after describing the action of his five 
brigades, he relates an incident illustrating the power of the Federal 
rifled artillery, and I expect many an old soldier in this audience could 
duplicate it: "I saw an artilleryman seated comfortably behind a very 
large tree, and apparently feeling very secure. A moment later a 
shell passed through the huge tree and took off the man's head." 

General Whiting's Division was on the extreme left. With the 
exception of a regiment on his right, his command did not fire a gun, 
but lay down in Poindexters wheat field and received the shelling 
patiently all the evening, with a loss of six killed and 194 wounded. 
About 3 o'clock each division commander received the following- 
order : 

214 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

"July i, 1862. 
"General — Batteries have been established to act upon the enemy's line. 
If it is broken, as is probable, Armistead, who can witness the effect of the 
fire, has been ordered to charge with a yell. Do the same. 

"R. H. Chilton, A. A. G." 

Only a battery or two could get into position at the time, and as 
soon as exposed on the edge of the field fifty pieces turned on them 
and they were crushed at once. An eye witness of that fight, I shall 
never forget the spirit and gallantry displayed by the batteries I saw 
go in and engage the enemy. By the time they had fired a round 
every horse was dead. The men pulled back the guns by hand, and 
in the face of bursting shells and whizzing bullets and surrounded by 
dead and dying comrades, vainly atttempted to fire their pieces. 
On the hill in front of Magruder's centre, the only point from our 
position where artillery could be carried in, the ground was covered 
with dead horses and men, and in many places you could step from 
one body to another. The conditions of the order which I have 
read not having been fulfilled, some of the division generals wrote 
back for instructions, and received the reply to charge with a yell. 
I heard this order twice delivered to General Magruder as he was 
urging the commanders of his nine brigades to do all in their power 
to overcome the difficulties of the swamp and woods and press up to 
the batteries. 

As General Hill's troops had the shorter route to reach the open 
field in front of Crew's, they became engaged sooner than Magru- 
der's. General G. B. Anderson began the attack, and in a short 
time was wounded and carried from the field. Then Gordon, Rip- 
ley, Garland and Colquitt charged with the yell. Battery after bat- 
tery was in their hands for a few moments, only to be wrested from 
them by the enemy. Had the attack been simultaneous, success 
must have crowned their efforts. Armistead, immediately on Ma- 
gruder's left, made a gallant charge an hour before, and the nine 
brigades of Magruder moved through the thick woods and up and 
around the hill skirting the field, 'and emerged into the same to meet 
the fire from fifty to one hundred guns, that tore gaps in their ranks 
and strewed the ground with their dead. Some of them reached 
the batteries, and the blue and the gray were mingled as they lay 
around the old sheds and barns in the Crew field. General Hill, in 
describing this scene, says it was not war — it was murder. The bat- 
tle was delivered by fourteen brigades, while six divisions lay near 

Malvern Hill. 215 

by and heard it. The incessant roar of musketry and the terrific 
cannonading presented a scene of awful sublimity. Whistling bullets 
and bursting shells, falling trees, clouds of smoke, lifting for a mo- 
ment, and then a sheet of fire along the lines from 20,000 guns on 
either side, and then a rattling sound that has not died away before 
the batteries open again, and this repeated with slight intervals from 
4 until 10 o'clock, can give you but a faint idea of the grand but 
fearful scene. It is impossible to fully appreciate it unless you had 
witnessed it; and some of you did. The news of that battle sent 
sorrow and distress untold to thousands of homes from the Potomac 
to the Rio Grande, while in the North and West there was many a 
vacant chair and aching heart. 

The battle, with all its melancholy results, will stand forever a 
record of the heroic achievements of the Confederate infantry and 
the unequalled power of the Federal artillery; and if in the tide of 
time these should be called to co-operate on any field our country 
need fear no foe. 


Thus ended this fearful conflict, the last of the seven days' fight. 
The losses on each side were about equal, the Confederates suffering 
more, perhaps, in killed and wounded, as they were the aggressors 
and fought the Federals on their chosen ground. Our killed and 
wounded reached 3,000. The loss of the enemy, while heavy, was 
not so severe. Fitz-John Porter says: "It is not to be supposed 
that our men, though concealed by the irregularities of the ground, 
were not sufferers from the enemy's fire. The fact is that before they 
exposed themselves by pursuing the enemy the ground was literally 
covered with the killed and wounded." 

Their own gun-boats helped in this slaughter, and inflicted little if 
any loss on our men. The thirty-two-pounder howitzers and siege- 
guns killed and demoralized the Confederates. Ours were raw 
troops, many of whom had never been in line of battle, and they 
confronted the regulars of the United States army. It requires ex- 
perience and drill to make efficient soldiers, even of material such as 
Hill and Magruder commanded that day. 

General Holmes, commanding a division of 6,000 effective men, 
occupied a position on the River road on our extreme right. The 
day before, he had a slight engagement with Warren's Brigade, and 
suffered the loss of two killed and forty wounded, and his request for 
re-enforcements turned Magruder from his direct march to Frazier's 
Farm, and thus prevented a complete success on that field. In his 

216 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

report he says: " I moved my division to a point on the River road 
half a mile below the upper gate of Curl's Neck and there remained 
during the night, in line of battle, but I deemed it out of the ques- 
tion to attack the strong position of Malvern Hill from that side with 
my inadequate force." 

In his official report of the battle, Longstreet said: "A little after 
3 P. M. I understood that we would not be able to attack the enemy 
that day, inasmuch as his position was too strong to admit of it." 
Writing long years afterwards in the Century Magazine, he says: 
"As our guns in front did not engage, the result was the enemy con- 
centrated the fire of fifty or sixty guns upon our isolated batteries 
and tore them into fragments in a few minutes after they opened, 
piling horses upon each other and guns upon horses. Before night 
the fire from our batteries failing of execution, General Lee seemed 
to abandon the idea of an attack. He proposed to me to move 
around to the left, with my own men and A. P. Hill's Division, turn- 
ing the Federal right. I issued my orders accordingly for the two 
divisions to go around and turn the Federal right, when, in some 
way unknown to me, the battle was drawn on. We were repulsed 
at all points with fearful slaughter, losing 6,000 men and accomplish- 
ing nothing." 

Swinton, who refers to our army as "that incomparable body of 
men, the glorious infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia," says 
of Malvern Hill: " Lee never before or since that action delivered a 
battle so ill-judged in conception or so faulty in its details of exe- 

In referring to the Quaker road, I have doubtless raised the in- 
quiry on many a mind here, " What would have been the effect had 
General Magruder not mistaken the order, or had there been only 
one road known by that name? " I am unable to say; and not hav- 
ing been educated a soldier, I do not presume to criticise. With the 
knowledge of the roads and the country, gained since that time, and 
the experience of the years after the battle, I will venture to say 
that had Magruder followed on the Willis church road and the 
(Federal map) Quaker road, and occupied the position of D. H. 
Hill, so that that officer, together with Early and Ewell, could have 
extended our left until it encircled Malvern Hill, the enemy would 
have been taken in flank and forced to give battle on ground more 
advantageous to us, or to make his retreat over the single road 
across Turkey Island creek. 

The depositions of three intelligent citizens and soldiers of Hen- 

Malvern Hill 217 

rico county, sworn to before R. H. Nelson, a magistrate, then and 
afterwards a member of my cavalry company, and now living on 
Frazier's Farm, in Henrico county, can be seen in the records of 
the Union and Confederate Armies, series i, Vol. XI, page 677, 
and they prove beyond question that the road on which General Ma- 
gruder was conducted by these guides was the only Quaker road 
known to those people; and now, after thirty-four years have elapsed, 
you may go there and the same road will be pointed out as the Qua- 
ker road. 


There has been a charge more serious than that of mistaking 
roads, laid to the door of this gallant and unfortunate commander; 
and I want to disprove that to-night, and vindicate his memory. 
Not many months ago, meeting accidentally a gallant Confederate 
general, and the conversation turning on the war, he remarked that 
the battle of Malvern Hill was a sad and melancholy mistake, and 
that it was a serious and unfortunate occurrence that General Ma- 
gruder was under the influence of liquor. I have heard Federal 
officers, when commenting on the Malvern Hill fight, make the same 
charge. Not long ago a veteran's son said to me that this impres- 
sion was on his mind, derived, he thought, from conversations he 
had heard around his father's fireside. I wish to say, for the infor- 
mation of this camp, and the citizens of this city, that General Ma- 
gruder was perfectly sober the whole day. I did not leave his side, 
except to carry some order; I spread his blankets that night, and, 
lying near by, heard the whole conversation between him and Gen- 
eral Lee in regard to the fight. In the record of the Union and 
Confederate Armies, series 1, Vol. II, page 683, will be found the 
certificate of E. J. Eldridge, Surgeon of the 16th Georgia regiment, 
bearing directly upon this point. I quote in part: 

"Concerning his condition in reference to intoxication, I can say 
most positively, that if he was under the influence of liquor, I failed 
entirely to see it. Had he been laboring under such influence, I 
must have noticed it. I am positive that he had not even taken a 
drink, most certainly was not the least excited from this cause." 

It would be an easy task to show that at no time during that pe- 
riod, was Magruder inactive or inefficient. Swinton, the historian, 
says of the fight at Savage's Station: 

"Magruder attacked in front with characteristic impetuosity 

218 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

about i o'clock in the afternoon, expecting Jackson, whose route led 
in flank and rear, to arrive and decide the action." 

Again, he says of the operations on the south of the Chicka- 

" Porter could expect no aid from the southside, for they were 
fully engaged by the demonstrations of Magruder, who, by ener- 
getic handling of his troops, making a great show and movement 
and clatter, held the corps commanders, to whom McClellan applied 
for aid in behalf of Porter, so fully occupied that they declared they 
could spare none. ' ' 

Of the devoted, loyal sons of Virginia who volunteered for her 
defense, none was more patriotic or heroic than John Bankhead 
Magruder. On the plains of Mexico he had won his first laurels. 
With consummate skill he fortified the historic peninsular from York- 
town to Mulberry Point, so that the foremost captain of the Federal 
army, with 100,000 men against 15,000, was halted and held at bay 
until Johnston's forces could march to the rescue. At Savage's 
station he attacked the rearguard of McClellan' s army, and inflicted 
severe loss on the Federals. From that point he had moved with 
great alacrity to Timberlake's store, and was in position to deal a 
telling blow at Frazier's farm, when the order came to move to New 
Market. It does seem the irony of fate that he should have been 
the victim of the misfortunes that attended our imperfect knowledge 
of the roads and topography around Richmond. 

President Davis, in his "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Gov- 
ernment," says: " We had no maps of the country in which we were 
operating; our generals were ignorant of the roads, and their guides 
knew little more than the way from their homes to Richmond." 
This latter declaration does injustice to many patriotic and intelligent 
citizens of our lower counties, some of whom have passed beyond 
the reach of censure or praise, others of whom are here to testify 
for themselves, and will be heard from, doubtless, around your camp 
fires. General Long says, evidently with a view of offsetting the 
rather severe criticisms of General Dick Taylor, that the major- 
generals had maps, and he produced a copy of the same. That 
some of our generals had maps of the principal county roads there 
can be no question; but the by-roads were not laid down. A divi- 
sion-general, after the engagement of July 1st, was directed to move 
on the left flank and proceed to the neighborhood of the old West- 
over church, in Charles City county. Calling to his guide, he asked 

Malvern Hill 219 

to be piloted to Nance's Shop. Arriving there, he inquired how far 
it was to Bradley's Store, near the church, and learning that the dis- 
tance was nearly the same as from the starting to his objective 
point, he asked why he had not carried him the nearest way; the 
guide, a blunt, plain man, replied: " You told me to bring you to 
Nance's Shop, and I have done so." The neighborhood road was 
not laid down. The general made no inquiries of his obedient 
guide, and lost five miles in his line of march. The same difficulties 
as to roads have attended armies in older and more open and culti- 
vated countries than Eastern Virginia, and have been the instruments 
of winning or losing many battles. 


A most original and graphic writer, delineating the battle of 
Waterloo, remarked: " Here a general of division fell; near by, 
brigades with their commanders perished; soon the grand old Impe-' 
rial Guard, that had never known defeat, hurled its front ranks into 
a yawning chasm of earth that its rear might pass over to meet, 
upon the fixed bayonets of the hollow squares of Wellington, a no 
less certain fate. And all this, why ? A cowboy said to a general 
on one bright Sunday morning: 'Sire, take this road.' ' Blucher, 
seventy-three years old, fired with the spirit of war and revenge, 
falling from his horse, but mounting again with the alacrity of youth, 
presses upon the scene, while Wellington prays that he or night 
would come. Waterloo was won by the accident of a well-directed 
route. Malvern Hill was doubtless a drawn battle because the 
Quaker road was misunderstood. 

It was a fearful ordeal to pass from under the cover of the hills 
that fringed the Crew field, and face the enemy. I could easily give 
you examples of personal valor and heroism unsurpassed in war. 
Of many such, probably none exceeded the gallantry of Captain 
Martin, of the 53rd Virginia Infantry, Armistead's brigade. And 
Thomas Fletcher Harwood, of Co. K (Charles City Southern 
Guard), color-bearer in his regiment, who lost a leg there, and is to- 
day one of the many maimed survivors of that fight, has a record in 
the archives at Washington that will carry his name to the latest 
posterity. A century hence the Daughters of the Confederacy will 
be establishing their right to membership upon these records, as 
many of Virginia's fair daughters to-day are building their claims 
upon the imperfectly kept records of our Revolutionary fathers. 

220 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


In the carefully written and full report of General Magruder, he 
refers to the Charles City Cavalry as follows: 

' ' The brave and devoted troopers of the Charles City Cavalry 
were on this, as on all other occasions, distinguished for the prompt- 
ness, intrepidity, and intelligence with which they discharged their 
important duties; and to their chivalric and enterprising lieutenant, 
Hill Carter, Jr., I owe a public acknowledment of the great services 
he has rendered his country on every occasion which has presented 
itself. ' ' 

It may not be inappropriate to remark that this company, to which 
General Magruder refers, lost the first man killed in battle in the war; 
for Samuel W. Pryor had been killed in a skirmish below Bethel 
church, the Confederate line, and was sleeping in his family burying 
ground in Charles City county, before Wyatt fell at Big Bethel in 
June, 1 86 1. It also lost about the last man killed in the war; for its 
gallant first lieutenant, William H. Harwood, who had passed 
through every cavalry fight of his command, and been engaged in 
as many hand-to-hand encounters as any man in the service, fell 
pierced through by a cannon ball, in the desperate charge on Gen- 
eral Gregg's brigade, the day before the surrender at Appomattox. 

Benjamin H. Harrison was captain of this company at Malvern 
Hill. Magruder thus refers to him: 

"The noble, accomplished, and gallant Harrison, commander of 
the Charles City Troop, uniting his own exertions with mine, rallied 
regiment after regiment, and leading one of them to the front, fell, 
pierced with seven wounds, near the enemy's batteries." 

This worthy member of one of Virginia's historic families, was a 
close kinsman of the Benjamin Harrison of 1774, who, when the 
storms of revolution were gathering, stood at Jefferson's right hand, 
as Partrick Henry stood at his left, to make the voice of Virginia 
heard in behalf of self-government. He was a resident of that sec- 
tion of Virginia from whose soil sprang three men who became 
Presidents of the United States. He possessed in the highest de- 
gree all those heroic and lovable traits of character that endeared 
him to his men. One of them, closer to him than many, had the 
day before, while resting at Timberlake's Store, tried to dissuade 
him from rash exposure of his life. But a noble and dauntless spirit 
impelled him, when it was not required nor expected of him, to lead 

Malvern Hill 221 

the advance infantry regiments, and die, as Armistead died after- 
wards on the heights of Gettysburg, hard by the enemy's artillery. 

The calmness and composure of the citizens of this city through 
all the trying days previous to and during the conflict was never ex- 
ceeded in the history of any people, not even in Rome when in the 
forum were sold the very fields on which the victorious Carthage- 
nians were camped. From the files of the Dispatch of that time, I 
quote as follows: 

"A distinguished lawyer, whose age prevented him being in the 
field, exclaimed to a friend when the battle (Malvern Hill) was rag- 
ing: ' I am proud of Richmond. I am proud of my fellow-citizens. 
I could never have believed it possible for human beings to behave 
so admirably as they have done to-day. From my soul I am proud 
of them.' " 

In the issue of this paper of the 3d of of July, we find the follow- 
ing notices: 

"Major John Stewart Walker, former captain of the Virginia 
Life Guards, was killed on Tuesday. He was a gallant officer, and 
one of our best and most influential citizens. Ellis Munford, son of 
the Secretary of the Commonwealth, also fell mortally wounded." 

There also, you will find a long list of the killed and wounded, 
and notices of the work in the hospitals, and tributes to the noble 
women in this city, ministering angels of charity then as now. 

The sons they had sent forth with the Roman matron's injunction 
were returning upon their shields. In habiliaments of mourning 
they visited the hospitals, ministering to the Southern youths who, 
far from home and friends, were suffering and dying. The unshaken 
faith of the noble women of the South upheld and prolonged the 
heroic struggle for constitutional rights, while their cheerful sacrifices 
in their isolated homes, providing for and teaching their little children 
and praying for the absent husband and father, oftentimes with no 
protector save the faithful slaves who watched over the defenceless 
homes, furnishes the most unique and striking example of devotion 
to duty the world has ever known. The descendants of such women 
will rehabilitate a land impoverished by war and afflicted with unjust 
and discriminating legislation. When under the guiding hand of 
Providence her vexed problems are settled and she enters once more 
upon a career of prosperity, another monument will crown one of 
the hills of this consecrated city, erected by the sons of veterans and 
dedicated to the noble women of the South. 

222 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Sunday News, Charleston, S. C, July 25, 1897.] 


There was no Fighting Around Petersburg in 1863. 

Some Interesting Personal Reminiscences of the Fatal Day, and those 

which Immediately Preceded and Succeeded it, by Judge 

Wm. M. Thomas, then an Officer of Rion's 

Battalion in Hagood's Brigade. 

To the Editor of the Sunday News : 

In your issue of Sunday, the 18th July, Mr. Marcus B. Alley, of 
the Maine Artillery during the late war between the States, gives a 
history of the Federal attack upon the lines at Petersburg on June 
18, 1864. He writes it as 1863, but that was a mistake. There was 
no fighting around Petersburg in 1863, and all with whom I have 
conversed agree that 1864 is correct. Otherwise his description 
from the Federal standpoint is in accord with my recollection. 

As this was a bloody and remarkable battle, and no account of it 
has been written for several years, you will, I hope, allow me to give 
the Confederate version of the battle. Even the Federal official re- 
ports have been strangely reticent concering the operations of the 
1 8th of June, 1864, and of the two days preceding that day. Gen- 
eral Grant, in his report, says that he ordered General G. W. Smith 
to advance, and for three days finding no progress had been made, 
he went himself to the front. This is all he says; General B. F. 
Butler, who had been bottled up, as Grant said, across the Appo- 
mattox, a stone's throw from a part of this battlefield, and who 
crossed it to see Grant, retaliated the bottling up assertion by alleg- 
ing that "Grant was drunk " on this occasion. 

Some time ago a new element to me, was introduced into our Con- 
federate version, and I wrote to General Hagood the accompanying 
version, so as to recall his attention to the facts. In repjy he wrote 
me he was glad to get it; that no report of the same had ever before 
reached him. Colonel Rion, who usually made these reports, was 
wounded on the 19th of June, and was subsequently for some weeks 
in the hospital, so that no official report from him could have been 
made. It will thus be seen that from both sides the official accounts 

The Slaughter at Petersburg. 223 

of the battle have been meagre, and that a Confederate statement 
should supplement the Federal account of Mr. Alley. 

hagood's brigade. 

The Confederate lines attacked at that time were held by Hagood's 
South Carolina Brigade, and were those to the north of Petersburg, 
commencing at the Appomattox river on the west, and extending 
eastwardly across the Charles City dirt road and railroad north of 
and alongside of Hare's Race Course to the salient on the lines held 
by Colquitt's brigade. Hagood's, Colquitt's and Clingman's bri- 
gades comprised Hoke's division. Clingman's brigade did not come 
up until the 19th. The extreme west of the line was held by a Vir- 
ginia battery on the banks of the Appomattox, and from there to 
the Charles City dirt road were the nth, 21st, 27th and 25th regi- 
ments. Between the dirt road and railroad was a fort, and to the 
east of the railroad was another fort. These forts were held by the 
7th battalion, under Major James H. Rion. Colonel Nelson was 
absent, and did not return until the 19th. He was killed five days 
afterwards, on nearly the same field. From Rion's forts to Col- 
quitt's salient there was a short gap. The forts were somewhat 
nearer to the Federal lines than the salient, but when on the 19th 
the forts were abandoned and new lines established south of Hare's 
Race Course, in the old canal, then the gap was closed and Col- 
quitt's salient became nearer the Federal lines. Beyond Colquitt's 
salient to the east the lines ran to the salient, variously called Pe- 
gram's (who occupied it on the 18th of June), Elliott's (who there 
fought the mine fight in August) and Grade's (who held it after the 
mine fight). None of these, however, were engaged on the 18th of 

The attack of the Federals commenced on the 16th. From the 
Virginia battery, on the banks of the Appomattox, to the Colquitt 
salient, the Confederate lines were there held by General Wise's 
Virginia brigade and the Virginia reserves. The Federals came 
across the James river and advanced on Petersburg by the Charles 
City roads. They swept across Wise's lines, leaving no Confeder- 
ate position occupied except that of the Virginia battery at the Ap- 
pomattox. From that point to Colquitt's salient, the Confederate 
lines remained undefended until late in the evening and during the 
night, when they were re-occupied by the arrival of reinforcements 
of Hagood's brigade. 

224 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Hagood's brigade had been on the north side of the James river, 
confronting Grant's army, from before the battle of Cold Harbor, 
on the 3d of June, along down the Chickahominy, Malvern Hill, 
and Haws's Shop; and on the morning of the 16th were on the 
north bank of the James river, near the pontoon bridge at Drewry's 
Bluff. We were hurriedly marched across the bridge to the south 
side of the James, and on to the Petersburg and Richmond railroad, 
near Chester Courthouse. It was a cool morning, and as I was 
marching near Major Rion, there came to my nose the most fragrant 
scent a weary soldier ever inhaled. 

1 ' What is that ? " I asked. 

"Hush," said Orderly-Sergeant Malone, of D, the front com- 
pany, "Major Rion has opened his brandy flask." Rion always 
carried a flask filled with French brandy for an emergency, and, 
wearied with the fatiguing campaign and march, he had taken a 
morning dram. I believe the smell did me as much good as the 
dram did for him. 

We came to the railroad, about sixteen miles or so from Peters- 
burg, and halted along the track. The 7th, under Colonel Rion, 
was in front and nearest to Petersburg. Towards evening, Major 
Ed. Willis, of the Quartermaster's department, came along from 
Richmond with an engine, tender, and Iwo cars. He called for two 
companies of volunteers from the brigade to go to Petersburg. Col- 
onel Rion stepped out and said: "The whole battalion will go." 
He directed me to put the eight companies, comprising some 500 
men, on the train. It was close packing, standing and sitting, in- 
side and outside, on engine, tender and cars. I was on top taking 
in the scenery and the pine smoke from the engine. I was a dirty 
white man before we started, but by the time we arrived in Peters- 
burg I was black. 

Right across Pocahontas Bridge and up the Main street we 
marched, my blackness illuming and leading the way. It was just 
after Wise's brigade had given way. They were running back, 
some hatless, some shoeless, and nearly all without guns. The 
women of Petersburg were out on the sidewalks, carrying their 
household goods from place to place. 

" What brigade is that ? " they asked. 

" Hagood's brigade," I proudly answered. 

" We are safe now," said they, as they went down on their knees 
on the pavements. Hagood's brigade had saved them twice recently 

The Slaughter at Petersburg. 225 

before, in May, at the battles of Walthall Junction, and of Swift 
Creek. Their gratitude was an inspiration to every man in the regi- 

Out we marched on the Charles City road, until we came just 
south of Hare's Race Course. There we were marched into a de- 
pression among the hills, where General Hoke had his headquarters, 
and were rationed. About dusk we were marched to the north of 
the race course, and into an open field nearly aligned on Colquitt's 
salient, and we commenced immediately to throw up breastworks 
with bayonets, swords, tin plates, etc. Three times during the night 
we were drawn up in line of battle to charge, and the order was 
countermanded. At last, towards morning, our pickets were put 
out in front, and we went to sleep on our arms. 

Just at daybreak the adjutant was directed to relieve the pickets, 
and draw them in nearer if necessary. We knew the,enemy were 
facing us across the field, When the Adjutant came to the picket 
line in the gray of the morning, there could be seen Federal pickets 
approaching two of Wise's abandoned forts in our front, as if to 
take possession of them. The forts were as near to us as they were 
to the Federals. The old picket combined with the relief and made 
a dash for the forts; they got there before the Federals, and the 
Federals lost several men. The Federals fled. I reported to Major 
Rion, who sent me to General Hoke. He ordered Major Rion to 
advance his whole battalion into the forts, and to hold them if he 

By the time I rejoined the regiment Major Rion had his line of 
battle ready, and we moved away from Colquitt's left, across the gap 
to the forts. The Federals began to comprehend the situation. 
They commenced shelling us and sending forward their infantry to 
attack the forts. This was kept up all that day. 

Early in the day General Hagood came to us, and made his head- 
quarters on the left of the left fort, next to the dirt road. Across 
the road, along a marshy slope, were the 25th and other regiments 
of his brigade, extending down to the Appomattox river. 

Between our dirt road and the 25th regiment was a deep drain, 
and it became necessary to bridge this drain in order that there 
might be access along our lines. General Hagood' s staff was scat- 
tered, and I can recall none who were with him except Lieutenant 
Dwight Stoney, a glorious little soldier then, and now in the Charles- 
ton express office. The General made use of me, and among 
other things, he intimated he wanted that bridge built. I informed 

226 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

him our battalion pioneer corps, under Lieutenant Hill, of Company 
C, was back at Hares' s Race Course. He directed me take Dwight 
Stoney's pretty marsh tacky, with a good switch, ride fast as I crossed 
the railroad where it converged to the dirt road, and bring up the 
pioneers. The Federals were sending their shells down the railroad 
as down a sluice. But the pony carried me safely, and I soon had 
the pioneers at the front. When I reported with them, Lieutenant 
Hill was temporarily absent, and General Hagood turned the pio- 
neers over to me to build the bridge. A veteran soldier can do 
almost anything, and soon I raised a cloud of dust which drew 
afresh the shelling of the Federals. 

About this time some of Captain Dave Walton's company came 
in from the front, and said one of Wise's abandoned cannon and 
limber chest were at the foot of the hill in front, about sixty yards 
away. The General gave me leave to stop raising the dust, and to 
take the pioneers and recover the gun. We brought it back into 
the road, alongside of the left fort, wheeled it round, and got it ready 
for the next charge of the Federals. The General said when we put 
it in position, that we had no artillerists to manage it. I told him 
" some of Rion's old company B, were among the pioneers and were 
drilled in artillery practice. " "All right, go ahead." This was 
the only gun used that day or the next, so far as I know, on our 
lines, and it did good service, as Mr. Alley testifies. 

About the time General Hagood came to us and was endeavoring 
to establish the line down to the river, Captain Ward Hopkin's, Cap- 
tain Walters', and perhaps some other companies, were marched to 
the front and towards the river, across the open field. I was stand- 
ing on the parapet of the fort watching them. The Federals trained 
their guns upon them, and I saw these brave soldiers killed. Along 
with them were Lieutenant Allemong and Sergeant Beckman. I 
knew them all well. Ward Hopkins was a classmate with me in the 
South Carolina College, and no more knightly spirit ever served the 
Confederacy. Beckman and I had gone to the same Sunday-school 
and church in our boyhood. 


During the night of the 17th the ammunition gave out, and it was 
brought up in an army wagon. I had to distribute it to the regi- 
ments on our left. I started with a detail, carried out my orders, 
and was returning to headquarters, when I missed my bridge and 
brought up in the swamp. As bad luck would have it, the Federals 

The Slaughter at Petersburg. %Z7 

made an attack at that time. Then I was in the swamp and water, 
with the Federals in front of me, and the 25th regiment in rear of 
me. There was no alternative except to obey the old Confederate 
injunction, "to grab a root." I managed to get between two tus- 
socks, and under water as much as I could. The balls passed over 
me from both sides, so I was unhurt, but I felt very uncomfortable 
all night in my wet and muddy clothing. 

The next morning was the 18th June. Then Mr. Alley says, 
Lincoln's pets, 1,950 strong, the Maine battery, charged us, and 
went back with 250. I can realize that this was so, for, except at 
Cold Harbor, I never saw such slaughter. 

At early daylight the Federals commenced shelling us. It was 
then, as it is now, my habit to take hot coffee as soon after daylight 
as practicable. Of course I had to make it myself. That morning 
I made a double portion, for Major Rion and myself. I knew he 
needed it. He brought his tin cup to me, and then went off across 
the esplanade of the fort, and called to me to bring him his coffee. 
To do so I would have to expose myself to the shells of the Fed- 
erals, which were flying around us. I did it. The Major said: " I 
wanted to see if you could do it without spilling a drop. I believe 
you did it." 

The Major gave the right fort to my charge; but, such a charge! 
" Take your place in the fort, when the line crosses the railroad, and 
extend my orders. Remember, I hold you responsible at the mouth 
of my pistol, if a shot is fired from that fort before my order to fire." 
I was dazed; for it is almost impossible to restrain men from firing 
when under fire, and while being charged, and I knew the Major 
was a strict disciplinarian and would do as he said. So I asked him: 
"How can I help it?" " Go to Captain Jones (I. L. , of Liberty 
Hill), and say to him what I said to you, and that I say you can 
only relieve yourself of responsibility from my pistol by your open- 
ing fire on him upon the first premature shot he permits to come 
from that fort." I so did; crossing the railroad among the shells to 
see Captain Jones. That discipline was the secret of that slaughter. 

The battle was continuously fought under the strictest tactics of 
the manual of arms. The Major would stand in the open, so he 
could see our breastworks, and the balance of us would be " grab- 
bing a root, close up to the breastworks." The enemy would come 
by brigades, two companies deep, and march steadily across the 
open field towards us, while the air over our heads was seething with 
shells and minie-balls. At my post, behind the breastwork, near the 

228 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

railroad, I would peep up to see how near the Federals were. Cap- 
tain Jones, on the other side of the railroad, was doing the same 
thing. Closer and closer would the Federals come, and I would 
think to myself, "Will he never say fire?" At length they came 
within ten or fifteen yards, as Mr. Alley says, and the Major straight- 
ened himself, " Rear rank, ready! aim, fire!" Then, " Front rank, 
ready! aim, fire!" I extended the orders to Captain Jones, and 
250 Enfield rifles of each rank spoke at each command with one 
voice. The air was thick in front of us with the smoke; but when 
we ceased firing, and the air cleared, we could see the retreating and 
scattered Federals, and the dead they had left in our front. 

In one of these charges, while the shells were flying, I peeped up 
to see the approaching Federals. Just in front of me there suddenly 
appeared something like a black buzzing bee. It was a shell. I 
knew what it was, and down I ducked behind the breastwork. The 
shell burst in the breastwork, right in front of me, and covered me 
with dirt all to my protruding legs. I was pulled out, and my head 
bandaged where a piece of the shell had struck me. It was my duty 
to report the casualties. I did not report myself. " How is this ? " 
asked Major Rion. I told it was slight, and I did not want my wife 
to be unnecessarily alarmed. "Wounds, sir, are honorable to a 
soldier and his command. A wound is any blood letting. Don't 
let this occur again." I told him " I hoped it would not." 

But all things must come to an end. Genera! Hoke had been pre- 
paring an interior line for us, while we were fighting the forts: 
South of Hare's Race 'Course was the old Colonial Canal, leading 
from near Colquitt's salient down to the Appomattox, and it made 
splendid breastworks. On the morning of the 19th the interior line 
was ready. At daylight Major Rion directed me to make a detail of 
skirmishers for him. When I reported with the detail he directed 
me to take the rest of the battalion back to the canal and report to 
General Hagood. This I did, looking back at Major Rion to see 
what he was going to do with his skirmishers. They were all lying 
flat and within ten or fifteen yards of the breastworks. The Fed- 
erals saw us withdraw, and came on to the forts with a great rejoic- 
ing. The Major let them crowd the breastworks, and then poured 
in a volley from his skirmishers. Both sides retreated. 

I had reported to General Hagood in the road, and he directed 
me to take his horse and recall Major Rion. The campaign had 
made him bony, yet I mounted, but did not get twenty yards before 
he fell with me. The shells were flying, and they thought I was 

The Slaughter at Petersburg. 229 

killed, but I got on my feet, turned the horse's head back to the 
General, and cried out, "If he had no objections, I would take the 
balance of my journey afoot," and so I did. 

The Major brought in his skirmishers, and exchanged them for the 
first company of the Washington Light Infantry, and went back to 
the front. The Federals must have thought he had a brigade, he 
ran the infantry about in such a way. We could hear him, " Charge, 
men, charge!" "Down!" The infantry behaved well, and the 
Major was so well pleased that he sent to me for the second company 
of the Light Infantry. General Hagood gave me a verbal order on 
the commanding officer for them, and I carried then out to Rion. 
He had been wounded in the right forearm at Drury's Bluff, and he 
always carried a tournequet and bandages ready in his haversack. 
Just after midday he was wounded in the left forearn, and brought 
in his skirmishers. I applied the tournequet for him, and bandaged 
his arm, and he went to the hospital. 

Before going he had the prescience to establish our picket pits; he 
directed they should be kept at a good distance from our main line, 
so that the main line might not be annoyed by shooting from close 
quarters. This was wise. When we first entered the canal our regi- 
ments were mixed up, but soon Colonel Nelson came in, and our 
battalion was aligned from the road eastwardly, and the other regi- 
ments extended to Colquitt's salient in the same direction; to the 
west of the road was Clingman's North Carolina Brigade. They 
did not keep the Federals off as far as we did, and the consequence 
was Clingman suffered from the near approach of the Federals. They 
got so close they could talk together, swap tobacco, newspapers, 
etc. The men became so friendly that an order was issued on our 
side to stop it, and to commence firing. I recall how a Tarheel got 
on the breastworks and cried out, " Hide out, you Feds, we have 
orders to commence firing, and we are going to begin." 

The difference in the picket lines in front of us and those in front 
of Clingman made a complete trap for several Federal officers. The 
officer of the day and officers in charge of the Federal picket line 
used to start, after nightfall, to visit their picket pits, commencing at 
the Appomattox river, and going eastwardly. Along Clingman's 
line it was plain sailing, but when they came to the road and crossed 
over in our front, they came on the same projection to the rear of 
the Confederate pickets; and all the Confederates had to do was to 
draw a bead on them and make them stand and deliver. 

Captain W. C. Clyburn, of Co. G, was at that time acting as 

230 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

major, and inasmuch as we had recovered the cannon on the 17th he 
was put in charge of it when it was brought back to the canal. It 
was right in the road, and the Federal prisoners, when brought in, 
would be brought before Captain Clyburn. He is now, and was 
then, one of the politest men in the world. He would receive these 
Federal officers with the utmost courtesy, but he would always insist 
on the spoils of war. Captain Clyburn had plenty of greenbacks 
and good clothing so long as this trap lasted. He lived well, too. 
He once asked me to dinner with him. " Take this seat, up against 
this tree; you can see to the front, and you are in no danger, I can 
assure you. None of the Federal balls ever come lower than this 
mark," said he, showing me a spot on the tree about three inches 
above my head. About a day or two afterwards Captain Clyburn 
showed me where a Federal ball had struck the tree fully six inches 
below, just where my head had been. 

Four years after this battle I revisited this field. When I went 
into the army for good my wife had made me a pretty woolen shirt, 
and put in it my set of amethist and pearl studs, so that if I was 
killed, as she said, whoever found my body would see I was a gentle- 
man and give me decent burial. A few days after I had been among 
the tadpoles, as above related, I went to the rear, towards the Appo- 
mattox, to bathe and wash my clothing. I found, I thought, a safe 
place, and deposited my studs on a stump, taking my shirt with me 
into the water. While busy in my laundry the Federals made an 
attack, and their balls fell so thick around me that I retreated, taking 
my clothing, regardless of my studs. My remembrance is that Cap- 
tain Martin, of General Hagood's staff, was wounded in the same 
vicinity that day. So when I went North for my health in 1868, and 
passed through Petersburg, I stopped over to see the old battlefield 
and find my studs. I found the stump, but the studs were gone. 

The old forts were reversed. Instead of facing North they faced 
South. Some negro women and a man were hoeing corn on- the 
site of the left fort, I asked them ' ' if that was a Yankee or Rebel 
fort?" " He Yankee fort," was the answer. I was miffed, I said: 
" I was here in the fight, and just where the women are hoeing three 
men were killed by one shell, and we buried them right there." 
Down went the hoes, and away went the women, just as the Fed- 
erals had done years before. 

'A Southern Hero. 231 

[From the Pulaski, Tenn., Citizen, January 6, 1898.] 


A Tribute to this Martyr by ELLA WHEELER WILCOX, with a 
Simple Account of the Sacrifice. 

A Touching Parallel to the Fate of NATHAN HALE. 

Nothing sweeter, it may be felt, might the poet have done, than 
in her lines given. It may be trusted, that, permanently re-united, 
our most promising refuge and Nation, will not fail in recognition, 
in time, of every instance of honorable devotion. 

At a recent meeting of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, 
at Baltimore, a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox was read. The poem 
is eulogistic of a young Tennessee Confederate soldier who preferred 
death to dishonor. 

Mrs. Wilcox wrote the poem for the Confederate Veteran, and in 
a note to the editor, she said: 

" I have never worked harder to produce what I desired. I be- 
gan fully twenty poems before I wrote this one." 

Here it is: 


When the Lord calls up earth's heroes 

To stand before his face, 
Oh, many a name unknown to fame 

Shall ring from that high place! 
And out of a grave in the Southland 

At the just God's call and beck, 
Shall one man rise with fearless eyes 

And a rope around his neck. 

For men have swung from gallows 

Whose souls were white as snow, 
Not how they die nor where, but why 

Is what God's records show. 
And on that mighty ledger 

Is writ Sam Davis' name — 
For honor's sake he would not make 

A compromise with shame. 

232 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

The great world lay before him, 

For he was in his youth, 
With love of life young hearts are rife. 

But better he loved truth. 
He fought for his convictions, 

And when he stood at bay 
He would not flinch nor stir one inch 

From honor's narrow way. 

They offered life and freedom 

If he would speak the word; 
In silent pride he gazed aside 

As one who had not heard. 
They argued, pleaded, threatened — 

It was but wasted breath, 
" Let come what must, I keep my trust," 

He said and laughed at death. 

He would not sell his manhood 

To purchase priceless hope; 
Where kings cast down a name and crown 

He dignified a rope. 
Ah, grave! where was your triumph ? 

And death! where was your sting? 
He showed you how a man could bow 

To doom and stay a king. 

And God, who loves the loyal 

Because they are like him, 
I doubt not yet that soul shall set 

Among his cherubim. 
Oh, Southland! fling your laurels: 

And add your wreath, Oh, North! 
Let glory claim the hero's name, 

And tell the world his worth. 

The bronze head of Sam Davis was one of the most admired 
works of art in the Parthenon of the Tennessee Centennial. 

This bust, executed by Julian Zolling, represents a nobly formed 
head; the boyish face conveys an impression of courage, strength 
and sweetness. Many visitors were attracted to this bit of bronze; 
singularly enough, many of them had never before heard of Sam 
Davis and his tragic death. Here is the story: 

In 1863 General Bragg sent a number of picked men, as scouts, 
among them Sam Davis, into Middle Tennessee in order to gain in- 
formation concerning the Federal army; he wished to know if the 
Union army was re-enforcing Chattanooga. The men were to go 

A Southern Hero. 233 

South and send their reports by courier line to General Bragg at 
Missionary Ridge. The expedition was attended with much danger. 

The scouts had seen the 16th Army Corps, commanded by Gen- 
eral Dodge, move from Corinth to Pulaski, and on Friday, Novem- 
ber 19, they started to return to their own camp, each man for him- 
self, and bearing his own information. 

Late that afternoon they were captured by the 7th Kansas Cav- 
alry, known as the " Kansas Jayhawkers," taken to Pulaski and put 
in prison. 

Important papers were found upon the person of Sam Davis. In 
his saddle-bags the plans and fortifications as well as an exact report 
of the Federal Army in Tennessee were found. 

A letter intended for General Bragg was also found. 

General Dodge sent for Davis and told him that he had a serious 
charge to make; that he was a spy and did not seem to realize the 
danger he was in. The General also remarked kindly that Davis 
was a young man, and that it would be well for him to tell from what 
source his accurate information concerning the Federal army was 
obtained. Davis had made no reply until this time. Then he said: 

"General Dodge, I know the danger of my situation, and am 
willing to take the consequences." 

He was ready to die rather than betray his friends. 

General Dodge remonstrated with the young prisoner, and in- 
sisted that he tell the name of his informer. Davis answered stead- 
fastly : 

" I will not tell. You are doing your duty as a soldier, and I am 
doing mine. If I have to die, I do so feeling that I am doing my 
duty to God and to my country.'" 

Pleading was useless. He thanked General Dodge for his kind 
interest, but remained firm. Davis was condemned to death. The 
night before his execution he wrote a pathetically brave letter to his 
mother and father. 

The morning of the execution arrived. Davis was put into a 
wagon and taken to the Courthouse Square. The condemned 
man, seeing some of his friends at a window, bowed a last farewell. 

Arriving at the gallows Davis asked Captain Armstrong how long- 
he had to live. The reply was: "Fifteen minutes." Davis then 
asked for the news. Captain Armstrong told him of the Confed- 
erate defeat at Missionary Ridge. He expressed much regret, and 

' ' The boys will have to fight without me. ' ' 

234 Southern Historical Society Payers. 

General Dodge still had hope that Davis would reveal the name of 
the traitor in the Federal camp, and thus save his own life. One of 
the officers of General Dodge rapidly approached the scaffold, and 
asked the youth if it would not be better for him to speak the name 
of the person from whom he had received the document found upon 
him, adding: 

" It is not too late yet! " 

Davis replied: " If I had a thousand lives, I would lose them all 
before I would betray my friends, or the confidence of my informer." 

He then requested the officer to thank General Dodge for his ef- 
forts to save him, but to repeat that he could not accept the terms. 
Turning to the chaplain he asked that a few keepsakes be kept for 
his mother. He then said that he was ready, ascended the scaffold, 
and stepped upon the trap. 

Another noble young life was sacrificed for love of the South. 

[From the Sunday News, Charleston, S. C, July 25, 1897.] 



Colonel Edward McCrady, after Consultation with Captains Arm- 
strong, Kelly, Hasell, Hutson and Dr. Frost, tells the Story of 
the Heroism of the Four Young South Carolinians who 
Fell at Cold Harbor Supporting the Colors of the ist 
Regiment, S. C. V.— The Gallant Dominick SpelU 
man, of the Irish Volunteers. 

The following interesting letter of Colonel Edward McCrady to 
Mrs. Thomas Taylor, of Columbia, explains itself: 

Charleston, April 6, 1897. 
My Dear Mrs. Taylor : ■ 

It will make rather a long letter to answer your inquiries of the 
25th ultimo. I will, however, endeavor to do so as briefly as I can. 
I should premise that, though present at the battle of Cold Har- 
bor on the June 27, 1862, I was not on duty with the regiment, the 
ist South Carolina Volunteers, of which I was then major. I had 
been ill in Richmond for some weeks when the seven days' battle 

Boy Heroes of Cold Harbor. 235 

around the city began, and though I managed to get out in a carriage 
just as that battle opened, being too weak to walk I was directed by 
General Gregg to serve upon his staff, as doing so allowed me to re- 
main on horseback, when the field officers of regiments were ordered 
to dismount upon going into action. It thus happened that I was 
separated from the regiment at the time though within a few yards 
of it, and did not actually see what took place in the now famous 
incident of the destruction of our color guard, and the repeated 
upraising and upholding of our colors. I am, however, I believe, 
fully informed of the occurrences, and the following account is con- 
firmed by my comrades here — Captains James Armstrong, William 
Aiken Kelly, N. Ingraham Hasell, C. J. C. Hutson and Dr. Francis 
L. Frost. 

In regard to the formation of the color guard about which, you 
inquire, I must tell you that our color guard was composed of a 
color sergeant, who bore the regimental colors, a corporal who bore 
the battle flag, and one corporal from each of the remaining eight 
companies. The color guard thus consisting in all of ten men. As 
the color guard forms the color line on which the regimental line is 
formed, and as it is the most dangerous because the most conspicu- 
ous part of a regiment, and indeed that upon which the whole forma- 
tion is made, none but the best soldiers are detailed for this duty. 
Upon the organization of our regiment, Colonel Maxcy Gregg ap- 
pointed young James Taylor, from Columbia, your kinsman, a noble 
and gallant youth, color sergeant, and Corporal William Gregg, of 
Marion, bearer of the battle flag. I will mention here at once that 
Corporal Gregg was sick in Richmond at the time, but endeavoring 
notwithstanding to join his regiment, missed his way, and failing to 
find it, joined another regiment, and was killed, thus sharing the 
fate and glory of his comrades though upon another part of the 

As I have said, a regiment is formed upon the color guard, the com- 
panies by rule (not always, however, followed), ranging from right 
to left and centre, by seniority of the captains; the senior captain on 
the right, the next on the left, and the third, whose company is 
known as the color company, in the centre. 

The alignment which, however, obtained in our regiment, and 
which was never changed during the war, was from right to left, as 
follows : 

(i) The Richland Volunteers, Company C, Captain Cordero; (2) 
the Barnwell Company, Company A, Captain C. W. McCreary; (3) 

236 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

the Carolina Light Infantry, of Charleston, Company L, Captain C. 
D. Barksdale; (4) the Edgefield Company, Company G, Captain A* 
P. Butler; (5) the Irish Volunteers, Company K — my old company, 
then commanded by Captain M. P. Parker — the color company; (6) 
the Horry Rebels, Company F, Captain T. Pinckney Alston; (7) 
the Marion Company, Company E, Captain William P. Shooter; (8) 
the Newbury Company, Company B, Captain J. C. McLemore; (9) 
the Richardson Guards, Charleston, Company I, Captain C. L. 
Boag; (10) Captain William T. Haskell's Company, partly from 
Abbeville and partly from Beauford, Company H, Company D, from 
Darlington, Captain D. G. Mcintosh, was converted into artillery, 
and became the Pee-Dee or Mcintosh battery, and so was separated 
from the regiment. 

The 1st and 12th regiments had been generally in the advance 
during the morning of the 27th of June, and when at 4 o'clock in 
the afternoon, arrangements had been made by General Lee for a 
general attack on the Federal position at Cold Harbor, General 
Gregg directed the 1st and 12th to advance upon a hillside, the 
ground of which — especially in front of the 1st — was covered by a 
dense thicket of young pines. The advance was met by a contin- 
uous fire of small arms, and General Gregg finding that great dam- 
age was done bv an enfilading fire from a battery established a good 
way to our right, directed Colonel Marshall with the regiment of rifles 
Orr's rifles, as it was known, to charge and take it. 

Upon the attempted advance of the 1st and 12th, their lines were 
much broken by the dense growth of pines and brambles, through 
which they had to move, the 12th getting in rear of the 1st, and 
the first three companies on the right of the 1st, doubling up in rear 
of the rest of the regimental line. This put the Carolina Light In- 
fantry, Company L, directly in rear of the Irish Volunteers, the 
color company, and so just behind the colors. 

It was at this moment of confusion, when the alignment of the 
two regiments, 1st and 12th, were thus broken, that the Rifles 
debouched from the cover under which they had been lying and 
advancing in column of companies attempted to form forward into 
line to make the charge ordered by General Gregg. The appear- 
ance of the Rifles upon the field brought upon the three advancing 
regiments of General Gregg's Brigade a fire which is said to have 
been the greatest delivered at any time during the war. It was the 
fire of Sykes' Division of Regulars, of the United States Army, to 
which was attached the New York Zouaves. I have seen it stated 

Boy Heroes of Cold Harbor. 237 

somewhere that the fire was that technically known as the "fire by 
file of companies," which, supposing the division to have consisted 
of ten companies in two ranks, and allowing for reserves, would have 
given more than ioo guns at every second of time. This fire of 
musketry was deafening. The great guns of the artillery, and all 
the confused noises of battle were completely drowned in the one 
continuous roar of the deadly fire of small arms. Before it, the 
Rifles, caught in the moment of executing a most difficult manoeuvre, 
melted away; more than half of the regiment falling in a few mo- 
ments in this its baptismal fire. 

The fire was scarcely less fatal to the ist and 12th. Of the 1st 
Lieutenant-Colonel A. M. Smith, Captain C. L. Boag, Lieutenants 
Grimke Rhett, Robert W. Rhett and A. J. Ashley were killed or 
mortally wounded. Lieutenants B. M. Blease, Josiah Cox, John G. 
Barnwell and E. D. Brailsford were also wounded, and under the fire 
the whole color guard went down. The loss of the ist in this battle 
was 145, almost all of whom fell at this time. 

As in all such incidents of intense excitement and violent and 
tragic scenes, the accounts of those who took part in this differ, and 
these differences increase as our memories fail as the years go by. 
But all agree that Color Sergeant Taylor— "Jimmy Taylor," as we 
all affectionately called him — fell at once under the fire, which was 
no doubt in a great measure directed to our great blue flag with the 
palmetto upon it, as it emerged from the woods. His blood was 
still to be seen upon its folds when, in 1889, my brother surviving 
officers and myself presented it to the State, with the request that it 
should always be kept at the capitol. 

There are two accounts as to who took up the colors from under 
Taylor's body. One statement is that Colonel D. H. Hamilton, 
commanding the regiment, did so, and that he handed them to Cor- 
poral Shubrick Hayne, the color corporal for Company L. The 
other account asserts that Hayne himself took them up. How- 
ever this may be, certain it is that Hayne bore them aloft until 
he fell, mortally wounded, when it seems equally certain that Alfred 
Pinckney, of Company L, seized them and was immediately killed 
with them in his hands. Then comes another point of differ- 
ence. On the one hand it is said that Philip Gadsden Holmes, 
also of Company L, took them up and immediately fell under 
three mortal wounds. I am inclined, however, to believe that 
this is a mistake; that the fact was that Gadsden Holmes was, at the 
moment he was shot, just behind the colors, endeavoring himself to 

238 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

get a deliberate aim at the advancing enemy. Then Dominick Spell- 
man, one of the heroes of our war, a member of the Irish company, 
raised the colors and gloriously bore them for the rest of the day, 
for which he was made color sergeant of the regiment, and bore them 
until himself was shot with the battle flag at Manassas. This, I 
believe, is as nearly accurate an account of this memorable incident 
as ca nnow be given. 

I have been thus particular to give the position of each company 
of the regiment at the time, as it explains how it was, that after the 
fall of Color-Sergeant Taylor, the great loss fell upon the Charleston 
companies, and how it was that to them the glorious opportunity was 
given, of showing how heroically Carolina boys would give their 
lives for the State. But it was only the accident of the doubling up 
of our regimental line, which put Captain Barksdale's company 
(Company L), behind the colors, and thus giving them the oppor- 
tunity of furnishing the heroes, which every other company of the 
regiment would have done as well had the accidents of battle so de- 
creed. Let me remind you also, that this is an account of an incident 
only of the battle, and hence it is that but three regiments of the 
brigade have been mentioned. Our comrades of the 13th and 14th 
regiments bore equally conspicuous and gallant parts upon that 
memorable day, but were not actively engaged at this time, the 13th 
being held in reserve, and the 14th hurrying into action after a long 
and tedious march from a distant position which they had been left 
temporarily to guard, and both coming to the assistance of the 1st, 
1 2th and Rifles, in their great emergency. 

Permit me, dear Mrs. Taylor, to express to you the gratification 
the survivors of the old Tst regiment experience in knowing that the 
ladies are taking an interest in our historic colors. I say historic, 
for the blue flag with the palmetto upon it, now in our State House, 
was carried from Fort Sumter and planted in the town of Gettysburg. 
It was, we believe, the first regimental flag unfurled in Virginia, for 
Governor Pickens, you know, sent Colonel Maxcy Gregg with his 
regiment to Richmond before the Virginia troops could be organized, 
and thus it was that it may truly be said the whole Army of Northern 
Virginia was gathered and organized around its folds. 

I mentioned that Color Sergeant Spell man was shot at Second 
Manassas, carrying the battle flag. I will explain that, commanding 
the regiment in that battle, I considered the regimental colors as too 
conspicuous and costing too many lives, and, therefore, carried into 
that field only the Confederate battle flag — a course which I believed 

A Horror of (he War. 239 

also to be more in accordance with military rule, and which course 
after Gettysburg, in which battle Color Sergeant Larkin was shot 
through the body as he was crossing the stone wall with them, was 
permanently adopted, and our loved colors not again carried into 

I am, dear madam, very respectfully and truly yours, 

Edward McCrady. 

[From the Richmond, Va., Times, March 14, 1897.] 



Their Comrades wished to Raise a Monument to the Memory of An= 
derson,-Love, Carter, Jones, Overby and Rhodes. 

When Mosby's men met here at the last Confederate Reunion, 
and feasted and talked of the thrilling events of their lives on the 
frontier, they did not fail to recall the names of those who had fallen 
in the fight, but especially the six soldiers, who, after being taken 
prisoners, had been made the victims of the implacable ferocity of 
General George A. Custer, of Sheridan's cavalry. A committee was 
appointed to raise funds for the erection of a monument to these sol- 
diers, and their appeal is published below. 

The story of this tragedy is thus told in the Warrenton True 
Index, by an eye-witness: 

After the defeat of General Early at the battle of Opequon, on 
September 19, 1864, his command fell back up the Valley. The 
brigade of cavalry, under General Wickham, occupied a strong po- 
sition at Milford, twelve miles south of Front Royal, and Custer 
made repeated efforts to force him from the position, without effect. 
About this time it was reported to Captain Chapman, of Mosby's 
command, that a large wagon train was en route from Milford to 
Winchester, under the escort of a small body of men. He imme- 
diately made disposition for its capture at Front Royal. For this 
purpose he divided his men into parties. One party was to attack 
the train at the point where a cross road from Chester's Gap inter- 

240 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

sects the Front Royal and Luray grade. The other, under the 
immediate, command of Chapman, was to fall upon the front of the 
train about 6oo-yards from the town, where there is a hill on one side 
and a ravine on the other. It seems that Custer had divined in some 
way the Confederate plans, and. instead of a small train guard, he 
had hi? whole division behind the wagons. He waited till the attack 
was made upon the front, when he threw a large force up on the 
Manor Grade, a road running parallel with the Luray road, and took 
possession of Chester's Gap, Chapman's line of retreat. The latter 
promptly attacked the train, when he in turn was attacked in his rear. 
He immediately turned upon the force behind him, determined to 
cut his way out. The Federals, who had preceded him to the gap, 
had thrown a strong line across a narrow defile, under the command 
of a captain or major, who stood upon foot in the middle of the road. 
Chapman formed his men in column and boldly charged through the 
line. In the melee, the Federal officer saw he would be captured or 
ridden down, and offered to surrender himself; but the pressure be- 
hind the Confederates was too great for them to stop to parley with 
one man, and some of those in the rear, not understanding the sit- 
uation, emptied their revolvers into the captain, killing him instantly. 
The most of Mosby's men succeeded in getting away, but some had 
their horses shot, and others were cut off. « Among these were An- 
derson, Love, Overby, Carter, and Henry Rhodes, of the 23rd Vir- 
ginia regiment. Custer determined to wreak summary vengeance 
upon these men. Rhodes was lashed with ropes between two 
horses, and dragged in plain sight of his agonized relatives, to the 
open field north of our town, where one man volunteered to do the 
killing, and ordered the helpless, dazed prisoner to stand up in front 
of him while he emptied his pistol upon him. Anderson and Love 
were shot in a lot behind the courthouse. Overby and Carter were 
carried to a large walnut tree upon the hill between Front Royal and 
Riverton, and were hung. The writer saw the latter under guard in 
a wagon lot. They bore themselves like heroes, and endured the 
taunts of their captors with proud and undaunted mien. One of 
them was a splendid specimen of manhood — tall, well-knit frame, 
and a head of black, wavy hair floating in the wind, he looked like 
a knight of old. While I was looking at them, General Custer, at 
the head of his division, rode by. He was dressed in a splendid 
suit of silk velvet, his saddle bow bound in silver or gold. In his 
hand he had a large branch of damsons, which he picked and ate as 
he rode along, his yellow locks resting upon his shoulders. Rhodes 

A Horror of the War. 241 

•was my friend and playmate, and I saw him shot from a distance, 
but did not at the time know who it was. 

Early in November Captain A. E. Richards, with ten men, was 
sent to the rear of Sheridan's army, then lying between Middletown 
and Strasburg. From a position near the turnpike, in the course of 
the day he captured fifteen prisoners, among whom were Captain 
Brewster, of Custer's staff, and his brother, a lawyer, bound on a 
canvassing expedition to the army in the interest of General McClel- 
lan. There were also among the prisoners a news-boy and a drum- 
mer-boy. The news-boy had often before been captured by Richards, 
but had always been released, and on this occasion received the 
same clemency. The drummer-boy claimed his liberty likewise, and 
pleaded hard for it; but Richards said: " No; the drum excites men 
to battle, but the newspaper is often the source of demoralization 
and defeat." As the prisoners, in charge of Dr. Sowers, were pass- 
ing through Ashby's Gap, they were met by Mosby, who, when in- 
formed that they belonged to General Custer's division, determined 
to retaliate upon them for the death of the Rangers who had been 
executed at Front Royal. He, therefore, ordered them to be kept 
under close guard until his return to Fauquier. 

In a few days Mosby left Moumjoy with twenty-three men in the 
Valley, and proceeded to Rectortown to execute his purpose. Mean- 
while, another party of Custer's men had been captured by Mount- 
joy and left in charge of Jimmy Chilton, at the residence of a citizen 
on the Blue Ridge. These prisoners were confined in a school-house, 
and appeared to be comfortable and cheerful, expressing their sur- 
prise at receiving such kind treatment at the hands of Mosby' s men. 
One of them, especially, was inclined to talk. He was young, hand- 
some, intelligent and gentlemanly in appearance. The conversation 
was so pleasant and friendly that Jimmy quite forgot the belligerent 
relation in which they stood to each other. But soon the tranquility 
of the scene was rudely and painfully disturbed by the entrance of 
two Rangers, who, without preliminary, demanded of the prisoners 
to whose command they belonged. Several promptly responded: 

" We belong to Custer's Division." 

" Then," said the men, " you are to be hung. Come along." 

The announcement produced a terrible shock; and the prisoner to 
whom reference has been made, rose up and with great calmness, 

"I understand the reason for this. It is in retaliation for the 

242 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

hanging at Front Royal, and I do not condemn you for it. But I 
desire to make this statement: Though I now belong to General 
Custer's command, yet I did not belong to it when that deed was 
perpetrated. I do not think, injustice, that I ought to be punished 
for the action of that officer before I had any connection with him." 

The case was a hard one, but he was, nevertheless, marched off 
with his comrades. 

On the day appointed for the execution, the battalion assembled 
at Rectortown. About n o'clock A. M., Mosby arrived, prepared 
to enter upon his painful task. There were twenty-seven men left 
after Brewster, the lawyer, was excluded from the lottery, and on the 
list were the names of two officers — Captain Brewster and a lieuten- 
ant of artillery. An officer was detailed to superintend the sad 
affair, and Mosby withdrew from the painful scene, saying: 

' ' This duty must be performed for the protection of my men from 
the ruthless Custer and Powell. ' ' 

The prisoners were drawn up in single rank, and for each a bit of 
paper was prepared, but seven only of them were numbered. They 
were then all put into a hat, and each prisoner was required to draw 
forth one of them. Those who drew blanks were to be sent to 
Richmond as prisoners of war, but those who drew numbers were to 
be hung. Various were the emotions depicted on the countenances 
as each man put his hand in the hat: Firmness, with his closed lips 
and unquailing eye; stolid Indifference; and Fear, with his ashen 
cheek and trembling hand, were all there. Brewster, the lawyer, 
was there too, and with agonized looks, was watching the fate of his 
brother, while tears coursed down his cheeks. As each hand was 
taken from the hat an expression of joy and relief would brighten 
the countenance, or a groan of anguish or a cry of despair would 
burst from the line. 

The condemned men were at once set apart and closely guarded. 
The two officers had drawn blanks, but not so the drummer boy. 
His appeals to Captain Richards were now louder and more eloquent 
than ever, who, touched with compassion, interceded with Mosby 
for his release. The application was granted, for the boy, in truth, 
ought never to have been subjected to the lottery. But another had 
to be substituted in his place, for Mosby remembered the blackened 
corpses of Overby and Carter, as they hung in the parching wind. 

The prisoners, in cruel suspense, again stood in line, but now only 
one death warrant was in the hat. Captain Brewster again escaped, 
but the artillery officer was not so fortunate. 

A Horror of the War. 243 

A detail was made to execute the sentence of retaliation, for the 
condemned soldiers were to be carried to the Valley, and were to be 
executed in the neighborhood of Winchester. As the party was 
passing through Ashby's Gap, they were met by Captain Mountjoy, 
who was returning from the Valley with an additional supply of 
prisoners taken from General Custer's command. Among the men 
condemned to death he recognized the artillery officer and one of 
his companions to be Freemasons, and on his own responsibility 
substituted in their places two of his own prisoners. The melan- 
choly procession again set forward. Owing to the darkness, the 

road was lost, and at daylight S , who was in command of the 

party, found himself at Rosemont, on the edge of Berryville, and 
he there determined to execute the sentence, for one prisoner had 
already escaped and had not been missed until then. 

The man who was first called up begged for delay, and said he was 
not ready to die. His request was granted, and he was postponed 
till the last. Three were hung and the others shot. But the last 
prisoner, when his turn came, was not then prepared to die, and 
striking the guard who held him by the collar a blow which felled 
him to the ground, rushed passed him, and, screened by the misty 
dawn, was soon lost to view. 

When the substitution made by Captain Mountjoy was reported 
to Mosby, he was much offended, and with severity told him he 
must remember in future that his command was not a Masonic lodge. 

A few days after this execution, Colonel Mosby transmitted to 
General Sheridan the following communication : 

November ii, 1864. 
"Major-General P. H. Sheridan, 

Commanding U. S. Forces in the Valley : 

"General, — Sometime in the month of September, during my ab- 
sence from my command, six of my men, who had been captured 
by your forces, were hung and shot in the street of Front Royal, by 
the order and in the immediate presence of Brigadier-General Custer. 
Since then, another (captured by a Colonel Powell, on a plundering 
expedition into Rappahannock), shared a similar fate. A label 
affixed to the coat of one of the murdered men declared that this 
would be the fate of Mosby and all his men. Since the murder of 
my men, not less than 700 prisoners, including many officers of high 
rank, captured from your army by this command, have been for- 
warded to Richmond; but the execution of my purpose of retaliation 

244 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

was deferred, in order, as far as possible, to confine its operation to 
the men of Custer and Powell. Accordingly, on the 6th instant, 
seven of your men were, by my order, executed on the Valley turn- 
pike — your highway of travel. Hereafter, any prisoners falling into 
my hands will be treated with the kindness due to their condition, 
unless some new act of barbarity shall compel me reluctantly to 
adopt a line of policy repugnant to humanity. 

' ' Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"John S. Mosby, 

"Lieutenant- Colonel. ' ' 

We, the committee appointed by Mosby Camp to solicit subscrip- 
tions to erect a monument at Front Royal, Va. , to the memory of 
our six comrades — Anderson, Carter, Jones, Overby, Love and 
Rhodes — who, while prisoners of war, were hung or shot to death, 
by the order of General Custer, in the year 1864. 

The memory of these brave boys, who met an untimely death in 
defence of their country, deserves to be perpetuated, and we earn- 
estly appeal to all survivors of the 43rd Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, 
to aid in rendering long-delayed justice to our fallen comrades. 

All subscriptions should be sent to the Treasurer, W. Ben. Palmer, 
No. 1 32 1 Cary street, Richmond, Va., or to any member of the 

W. Ben. Palmer, 

Richmond, Va., 

J. W. Hammond, 

Alexandria, Va. , 

Robert M. Harrover, 

Washington, D. C, 


The Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 245 

[From the Charlotte (N. C.) Observer, March 31, 1895.] 



Lieutenant=CoIoneI George W. Flowers, of this Regiment, writes its 

Splendid Record in the Army of Northern Virginia— Its 

Officers — A Carefully Written and Valuable 

Addition to the State's War 


The 38th regiment of North Carolina troops, was formed of vol- 
unteers who enlisted for twelve months, and was organized at Camp 
Mangum, near Raleigh, North Carolina, January 17, 1862, under 
the command of Major J. J. Iredell, commander of the post. The 
regiment was composed of the following companies: 

Company A, "Spartan Band," Duplin county — A. G. Mosely, 
captain. First Lieutenant, D. G. Morrisey; second lieutenant, Alsa 
J. Brown; junior second lieutenant, D. M. Pearsall. 

Company B, "Men of Yadkin," Yadkin county — C. L. Cook, 
captain. First lieutenant, R. F. Armfield; second lieutenant, A. 
W. Blackburn; junior second lieutenant, L. F. Haynes. 

Company C, "Sampson Farmers," Sampson county — Peter B. 
Troublefield, captain. First lieutenant, R. F. Allen; second lieu- 
tenant, John F. Wilson; junior second lieutenant, Hinton J. Hudson. 

Company B, "Sampson Plowboys," Sampson county — John 
Ashford, captain. First lieutenant, R. Bell; second lieutenant, A. 
D. King; junior second lieutenant, H. C. Darden. 

Company E, "Richmond Boys," Richmond county — Oliver H. 
Dockery, captain. First lieutenant, S. M. Ingraham; second lieu- 
tenant, D. G. McRae; junior second lieutenant, M. W. Covington. 

Company F, "Catawba Wildcats," Catawba county — Joshua B. 
Little, captain. First lieutenant, D. McD. Yount; second lieuten- 
ant, H. L. Roberts; junior second lieutenant, F. D. Roseman. 

Company G, " Rocky Face Rangers," Alexander county — G. W. 
Sharpe, captain. First lieutenant, John E. Rheim; second lieuten- 
ant, George W. Flowers; junior second lieutenant, James W. 

246 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Company H, " Uwharrie Boys," Randolph county — Noah Rush, 
captain. First lieutenant, L. D. Andrews; second lieutenant, J. N. 
Kearns; second junior lieutenant, N. H. Hopkins. 

Company I, "Cleveland Marksmen," Cleveland county — O. P. 
Gardiner, captain. First lieutenant, G. Blanton; second lieutenant, 
D. Magness; junior second lieutenant, O. Beam. 

Company K, "Carolina Boys," Cumberland county — M. McR. 
McLaughlin, captain. First lieutenant, Angus Shaw; second lieu- 
tenant, A. M. Smith; junior second lieutenant, D. A. Moore. 

The regiment was organized (Company K being absent) by elect- 
ing William J. Hoke, Lincoln county (Captain of Company K, 
Bethel Regiment), colonel. Captain Oliver H. Dockery, Richmond 
county, lieutenant-colonel; Captain George W. Sharpe, Alexander 
county, major. 

The following officers were then appointed: Horace L. Robards, 
Lincoln county, quartermaster; Benjamin H. Sumner, Lincoln county, 
commissary; Miles M. Cowles, Yadkin county, adjutant; Peter W. 
Young, Granville county, surgeon; J. Stuart Devane, Duplin county, 
assistant surgeon; D. M. Mclntyre, Duplin county, sergeant-major; 
Marion Roseman, Catawba county, quartermaster sergeant; William 

C. Webb, Cleveland county, commissary sergeant; John O. Waters, 
Cleveland county, color sergeant; J. J. Johnson, Co. H, S. B. Her- 
ring, Co. C, F. A. Clifton, Co. C, J. H. Irving, Co. G, D. A. Black, 
Co. K, color guard; Rev. Julian P. Faison, Co. A, chaplain; Lieu- 
tenant R. W. Copell was elected captain of Co. E, to succeed Cap- 
tain Dockery; Lieutenant John E. Rheim, Co. G, was elected to 
succeed Captain Sharpe; George M. Yoder, Co. F, was elected 
second lieutenant to succeed H. L. Robards; George W. Flowers, 
Co. G, was elected first lieutenant to succeed Lieutenant Rheim; 
Oliver H. Patterson, second lieutenant to succeed G. W. Flowers; 

D. G. McRae, Co. E, was elected second lieutenant to succeed 
Lieutenant Copell. 

On the ioth of February, 1823, the regiment was ordered to pro- 
ceed to Washington, N. C. , but on reaching Goldsboro the order 
was changed and the regiment ordered to Halifax, thence to Ham- 
ilton. On February 12, under orders from General Gatlin, the 
troops returned to Halifax, and then proceeded to Weldon to defend 
the bridge at that point, reaching Camp Leavenworth, on the east 
side of the river near Garysburg, on the 14th. The regiment re- 
mained here until the 18th, when it was ordered to Camp Floyd, on 
the west side of the river, near Weldon. While in camp at this 

The Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 247 

place there was much sickness and many deaths. On the 21st the 
regiment was ordered to Camp Vance, two miles east of Goldsboro, 
on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, and on the 22nd was 
attached to the 3rd Brigade, Army of North Carolina, commanded 
by General Joseph R. Anderson. This brigade was composed of 
the 1st South Carolina Regiment, Colonel Hamilton; 34th North 
Carolina, Colonel Leaventhorpe; 38th North Carolina, Colonel Hoke; 
2nd Georgia Battalion, Captain Doyle; 3rd Louisiana Battalion, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Bridford. On April 8th, the 45th Georgia, Col- 
onel Hardiman, and on April 10th, 49th Georgia, Colonel Lane, 
were attached to the brigade. 

While here the troops received news of the passage of the con- 
script law, which gave some dissatisfaction, because they thought it 
unfair to hold twelve-month troops for a longer time, but after care- 
ful consideration they cheerfully acquiesced. On the 18th of April, 
1862, General Holmes, in command at Goldsboro, ordered the regi- 
ment at Camp Mason to re- organize for the war. The result was as 
follows: Thos. S. Kenan, colonel (did not accept); Wm. J. Hoke, 
elected on 24th; R. F. Armfield, lieutenant-colonel; L. D. Andrews, 

Company A — A. G. Mosely, captain; D. D. Morrisey, first lieu- 
tenant; N. E. Armstrong, second lieutenant; A. J. Brown, junior 
second lieutenant. 

Company B — C. L. Cook, captain; A. W. Blackburn, first lieu- 
tenant; L. F. Haynes, second lieutenant; J. B. Hare, junior second 

Company C — J. T. Wilson, captain; R. F. Allen, first lieutenant; 
Hudson, second lieutenant: J. W. Darden, junior second lieuten- 

Company D — John Ashford, captain 1 R. R. Bell, first lieutenant; 
H. C. Darden, second lieutenant; J. W. Darden, junior second lieu- 

Company E — D. C. McRae, captain; S. M. Ingram, first lieuten- 
ant; Alfred Dockery, second lieutenant; M. T. Covington, junior 
second lieutenant. 

Company F — D. McD. Yount, captain; F. D. Roseman. first 
lieutenant; J. A. Yount, second lieutenant; Alonzo Deal, junior sec- 
ond lieutenant. 

Company G — G. W. Flowers, captain; O. H. Patterson, first 
lieutenant; W. A. Stephenson, second lieutenant; Abner Harring- 
ton, junior second lieutenant. 

248 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Company H — W. L. Thornburg, captain; J. N. Kearns, first 
lieutenant; Marley Cranford, second lieutenant; Alexander Murdock, 
junior second lieutenant. 

Company I — O. P. Gardiner, captain; B. F. Hunt, first lieutenant; 
O. P. Beane, second lieutenant; W. C, Webb, junior second lieu- 

Company K — M. M. McLaughlin, captain; Angus Shaw, first 
lieutenant; A. M. Smith, second lieutenant; D. A. Monroe, junior 
second lieutenant. 

Miles M. Cowles, adjutant; W. R. Edwards, quartermaster (June 
17, 1862); B. H. Sumner, commissary; J. L. Andrews, ordnance 

During the war, in addition to those mentioned, the regiment had 
the following field officers: 

Colonel — John Ashford. 

Lieutenant-Colonel — John Ashford, George W. Flowers. 

Major— John Ashford, M. McR. McLaughlin, George W. Flow- 
ers, J. T. Wilson. 

Adjutant— David M. Mclntyre. 

Ensign — Wesley F. Matheson. 

Sergeant-Major — Agrippa S. Hardister. \ 

Chaplain — Whitfield S. McDiarmid. 

At the time of the election Colonel Kenan was in command of the 
43rd Regiment as lieutenant-colonel, and April 24th received his 
commission as colonel of that regiment, and therefore did not accept 
the command of the 38th. As soon as the reorganization was com- 
pleted, April 24th, the regiment was ordered to proceed by rail to 
Richmond, and on the 27th it was ordered to Guinea Station, where 
on the 29th it was transferred to the 2nd Brigade, General Maxcy 
Gregg commanding, and ordered to Milford Station. The regiment 
was engaged in guarding the bridges on the Mattaponi, Wild Cat, 
North and South Anna Runs until the 9th of May, when it was re- 
lieved by Colonel Tansil, 3rd Virginia Artillery, and ordered to 
report to General Gregg at the Summit. The regiment was called 
May 12, to meet the enemy, who had crossed the Rappahannock at 
Hamilton's crossing, below Fredericksburg, but the enemy withdrew 
and no engagement ensued. This was the first time the regiment 
was in line of battle preparatory to fighting. The following day the 
troops for the first time fired on the enemy, a number of whom were 
in a boat below the city; all were killed except two or three who 
swam ashore. 

The Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 249 

About this time the soldiers were deprived of their tents and much 
suffering was caused by the extreme cold rains. The command re- 
mained near Fredericksburg until May 25th, when it set out on a 
march, at sunset, in the direction of Hanover Junction, marching- 
all night and all next day through mud, so that many of the soldiers 
lost their shoes and almost gave out from fatigue. The regiment 
camped ten miles north of Richmond, May 27th, and afterwards did 
picket duty along the Chickahominy. 

On the 14th of June the 38th was transferred to General Wm. D. 
Pender's Brigade, composed of the 38th North Carolina, Colonel W. 
J. Hoke; 34th North Carolina, Colonel R. H. Riddick; 22nd North 
Carolina, Colonel James Conner; 16th North Carolina, Colonel 
McElroy. The 13th North Carolina, Colonel A. M. Scales, was at- 
tached in the winter. Pender's Brigade formed the 6th of the 
" Light Division " commanded by General A. P. Hill. 

The division crossed Meadow bridge June 26th, and it was seen 
from scattered portfolios and other luxuries, to which the Southern 
soldier was a stranger, that the Yankee picket at that place had fled 
with great precipitation. As soon as the Thirty-eighth had got 
a little beyond Mechanicsville it was saluted with heavy shelling. A 
line of battle was formed and the march continued until the order 
was given to charge the battery that was throwing the deadly missiles. 
The heat w r as intense and the double quick march exhausting, but 
the charge was kept up over the open field until the regiment 
reached the summit of the last elevation when a farm house, yard 
and garden broke the line somewhat. The Yankee batteries were 
upon the summit of the opposite hill with their supporting infantry 
in their intrenchments, and the old field pines in front cut down and 
piled across the stumps which were left about three feet high, form- 
ing an almost impassible barrier. The Thirty-eighth, alone and un- 
supported, charged down the hill, the long line of infantry playing 
upon it with a cross fire. On the soldiers charged, in the face of the 
fatal volleys, until the obstacles were reached, when the whole line 
stopped and began returning the fire under every disadvantage. 
The men were falling rapidly and it was soon seen that to take the 
works was impossible. Captain Thornburg and Adjutant Cowles 
were in front, urging the men forward. The retreat was ordered but 
the noise was so deafening nothing could be heard. Major Andrews 
reached Captain Thornburg and Adjutant Cowles and gave them the 
orders to retreat, after which the word was passed along the line and 
the retreat up the hill was begun, the enemy continuing their deadly 

250 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

firing. It was about sunset when the regiment reached safely the 
rear. General Pender in his report says: 

" I at once changed the direction of two of my regiments so as to 
bring them to the right of the artillery, and succeeded in getting in 
150 or 200 yards of it before we were opened upon, but when they 
did open upon us, it was destructive, and the obstacles so great in 
front, the creek and the mill dam, that after the 38th North Carolina 
had reached these obstacles, and in less than 100 yards of the en- 
emy's rifle pits, they had to fall back. This regiment here advanced 
boldly and maintained its ground well. * * * 

" I should state, while relating the incidents of this day's battle, 
that Colonel Hoke, 38th North Carolina, was wounded, and had to 
leave the field. The Adjutant of the 38th was also wounded, but 
nobly maintained his post until after dark. ' ' 

Lieutenant-Colonel Armfield took command as soon as Colonel 
Hoke was wounded, which was soon after getting under fire. Adju- 
tant Miles M. Cowles received a wound from which he soon died, 
the regiment losing one of its bravest officers. Lieutenant Coving- 
ton, Company E, and Lieutenant Darden, Company D, were killed, 
and Lieutenants Dan. F. Roseman, Company F, and Angus Shaw, 
Company H, were severely wounded. 

In Company G, Captain Flowers and Lieutenant Harrington were 
severely wounded, and out of thirty-two men in the company at the 
opening of the engagement, twenty-seven were either killed or 
wounded. About 420 men belonging to the regiment were engaged 
in the fight, the others being on picket. The loss was 152 in killed 
and wounded. 

Colonel Hoke in his report speaks in highest terms of the conduct 
of Captain B. H. Sumner, A. C. S., Sergeant-Major D. M. Mclntyre, 
John Young, an attache to the regiment, and Edward Goldsmith, a 
drill master. The color-bearer, John O. Waters, was severely 
wounded, but remained bravely at the head of the regiment, and 
bore his colors through the fight, returning them safely. During the 
night the troops were collected as well as possible, and it was late 
before the 38th was gotten together, when the wornout soldiers slept 
on their arms. At early dawn the march was begun, the regiment 
passing over the spot where so many men were lost the evening be- 
fore. The enemy fled and the Confederates marched through the 
deserted camp. General Hill in his report, says: 

" It was a costly and useless sacrifice, for early the next morning 

The T hirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 251 

our troops crossed the mill pond and the Federal forces, seeing their 
position turned, betook themselves to hasty flight." 

The Federals made a stand at Gaines' Mill, when the 38th was en- 
gaged, and the soldiers, though weary and worn, behaved nobly. 
About sundown, the shouting along the line announced the fact that 
the enemy was running and a victory was gained. After camping 
on the battlefield over night, the march was continued. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Armfield being sick, Major L. D. Andrews was now in com- 
mand. The regiment was engaged at Cold Harbor and Frazier's 
Farm. At the latter place the Confederate troops fought with un- 
usual bravery, not seeming to realize the presence of danger, and 
victory was again gained by the Confederates. The Southern sol- 
diers were now all jubilant. McClellan's " On to Richmond," was 
now changed to " On to Harrison's Landing," where the gun-boats 
lay. The pursuit of the enemy was continued, and the next en- 
gagement was at Malvern Hill. The battle at this place was a very 
hard fought one, but the 38th was not in the thickest of it, and did 
not lose very heavily. The enemy continued to flee, and were pur- 
sued to their gun-boats at Harrison's Landing. 

After remaining there a few days, the division was ordered to 
Richmond, and it remained below that city until July 27, when Gen- 
eral A. P. Hill's division was attached to Jackson's corps, and 
marched to Gordonsville, Virginia. On August 7th, Jackson moved 
from Gordonsville, to confront General Pope in the Valley, and on 
the 9th he fell upon General Banks' right flank at Cedar Mountain. 
At one time the day seemed doubtful. When the foe had well nigh 
crushed General Garnett, Branch went gallantly to his rescue, and 
with Pender's and other brigades of Hill's division, drove the enemy 
headlong from the field. Major Andrews having taken sick at 
Gordonsville, Captain John Ashford was in command of 38th, and 
received commendation from General Pender for his coolness and 
skilfulness in handling his men. D. M. Mclntyre was now adjutant, 
having been promoted on July 9th, for gallantry and efficiency. On 
account of ill-health, Major Andrews resigned his commission, and 
011 the 21st of August, Captain John Ashford was promoted to major. 

Jackson made a wide circuit behind the mountains to cut the Fed- 
eral communications at Manassas. On the 26th Pender's Brigade 
gained a splendid victory over a brigade of the enemy at Manassas 
Junction. Jackson's single corps, numbering less than 16,000 men 
was resisting General Pope's entire army. On the 28th the com- 
mand formed line of battle for the memorable second battle of 

252 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Manassas, which was a series of battles for three days. Pender's 
Brigade took possession of the bridge across Bull Run and engaged 
the enemy across the river. His brigade finally crossed over to the 
east side, but the enemy withdrew. The loss was very slight. On 
Friday, the 29th, the enemy changed position and was attempting to- 
interpose his arms between General Jackson and Alexandria. Jack- 
son's troops were arranged along the Manassas Gap railroad, Jack- 
son's Division under Brigadier General Stark being on the right, 
E well's, under Lawton, in the centre, and A. P. Hill's on the left. 
The brigades of Thomas, Pender, Archer, and Gregg, were on the 
extreme left. After Longstreet arrived the enemy changed position 
and began to concentrate all its force opposite Hill's division. The 
attack was received with great steadiness, and the battle raged with 
great fury; the enemy was frequently repulsed, but on account of 
having so many fresh troops the attack was renewed. They suc- 
ceeded in penetrating an interval between Gregg's and Thomas' 
divisions. Pender's brigade was placed in the rear of Thomas' with 
orders to support it. General Pender in his report says: 

" Finally, it seemed to me to be the time to go to his (Thomas') 
assistance. I ordered my brigade forward, moving just to the right 
of Colonel Thomas. My men moved forward very gallantly, driving 
the enemy back across the railroad cut, through the woods on the 
opposite side and beyond their batteries in the adjoining field. A 
battery of the enemy which was on the right of the woods as we 
advanced was flanked by my command, and the cannoneers deserted 
their pieces. My line was halted on the edge of the field in front of 
the enemy, where I remained some time, when, being promised sup- 
port from one of the staff in some of Jackson's brigades, I crossed 
the field to attack the batteries. My men advanced well, receiving 
grape from the batteries; but support being waited for in vain and 
seeing columns on my left and right manoeuvering to flank me, I 
withdrew and marched back to the railroad cut, a little to the right 
of the position previously held by General Gregg. General Archer 
very kindly came forward and relieved me until I could march to the 
rear and rest my men. I was ordered to the right to support some 
one of General Jackson's brigades. I marched across the railroad 
embankment, moving obliquely to the left until I had reached the 
large field again in which the enemy were found. Finding nothing 
to do, unless it was to attack an overwhelming force of the enemy, 
supported very strongly by artillery, I withdrew, after receiving 
heavy fire of grape and shell. Getting back to the railroad cut about 

The Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 253 

the point I had reached the evening before, I received orders to 
march in conjunction with other troops, particularly those of Gen- 
eral Archer, Colonels Thomas and Taliaferro. We all advanced 
together, taking the enemy, as it were, in e chclon. We advanced 
steadily, driving the enemy from the field through the woods. 
While advancing through the woods we were exposed to a very heavy 
enfilade fire from the right. We continued our advance until after 
dark, when we came in contact with a body of the enemy. Each 
fired a volley. They ran and we rested for the night. Thus ended 
the Manassas fight with me. The brigade, with the exception of a 
few skulkers, behaved with great gallantry oh both these days. 
They could not have behaved better. I cannot particularize a,t this 
distant day, but I well remember that Captain John Ashford, com- 
manding the 38th, behaved with great coolness and bravery. I had 
the misfortune to lose him on account of a wound in the leg." 

Six separate and distinct attacks were made against Hill's division 
and each time repulsed. General Jackson said: 

" The three brigades of Archer, Pender and Thomas held together 
and drove everything before them, capturing the batteries and many 
prisoners, resting that night on Bull Run, and the ground thus won 
was occupied that night. These brigades had penetrated so far 
within the enemy's lines that Captain Ashe, assistant adjutant-gen- 
eral to General Pender, was taken prisoner that night returning 
from my headquarters to his own brigade." 

The regiment received considerable loss. Lieutenant Wes. A. 
Stephenson, Company C, 38th North Carolina, a brave soldier, was 
killed, and Lieutenant Duncan Black was wounded. For distin- 
guished gallantry displayed in the celebrated charge, Sergeant R. 
M. Sharpe, Company G, was promoted to second junior lieutenant. 
After the wounding of Captain Ashford, Captain M. McR. McLaugh- 
lin was in command of the regiment. 

Early next morning, September 1st, the army marched forward 
and came in contact with the enemy late in the evening at Ox Hill. 
The regiment was engaged in this fight, which raged with great fury, 
but the enemy retired from the field. On the 4th of September the 
army bivouacked near the Big Spring, between Leesburg and the 
Potomac, and on the next day the division crossed into Maryland, 
near Leesburg, but on the nth re-crossed into Virginia at Williams- 
port. On the next day General White, with 3,000 men, retreated 
from the town and fell back upon Harper's Ferry. The enemy oc- 

254 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

cupied a ridge of hills, known as Bolivar Heights, extending from 
the Potomac to the Shenandoah. General Hill's division was or- 
dered to move along the left bank of the Shenandoah to turn the 
left flank of the enemy and enter Harper's Ferry. The 38th was in 
the left of the division. Pender, Archer and Brockenbrough were 
directed to gain the crest of the hill, General Pender being entrusted 
with the execution of this command. Colonel Brewster was in charge 
of the brigade, which advanced to within about sixty yards of the 
breastworks on the west point of Bolivar Heights, but the troops 
were withdrawn. Next morning the brigades of Pender and Thomas 
marched to within 150 yards of the works, while the artillery played 
upon the enemy. When the artillery ceased, Pender began to ad- 
vance, but the artillery opened again, and the enemy showed the 
white flag, and surrendered about 11,000 prisoners, 12,000 stand of 
arms, seventy pieces of artillery and many stores. Captain Nicholas 
E. Armstrong, Company A, and Lieutenant Smith, Company K, 
were severely wounded. 

Hill's Division remained to parole the prisoners and send off the 
captured goods, and on September 17, moved to Sharpsburg, leav- 
ing Thomas at Harper's Ferry. At Sharpsburg occured one of the 
greatest battles of the civil war. General Hill arrived in time to save 
the day, but Pender's Brigade on the right of the division was not 
actively engaged, being under fire at long range of musketry. 

The division crossed the Potomac into Virginia, and on the 20th, 
at Shepherdstown, were ordered to drive some brigades of the enemy 
across the river. The enemy massed in front of Pender's Brigade 
and endeavored to turn his left. General Pender became hotly en- 
gaged and informing Archer of his danger he (Archer) marched by 
the left flank, and forming on Pender's left, a simultaneous, daring 
charge was made, and the enemy driven pell mell into the river. 
Then commenced the most terrible slaughter the war witnessed. The 
broad surface of the Potomac was blue with the floating bodies of 
the slain. But few escaped to tell the tale. By their own account 
they lost 3,000 men killed and drowned from one brigade alone. 
General Pender in his report says: 

"Captain Ashford, commanding the Thirty-eighth North Carolina 
at Manassas Junction and at Manassas, when he was wounded, has 
entitled himself to notice as well as promotion by his uniform bravery 
and good conduct. Lieutenants A. J. Brown and J. M. Robinson, 
also of the same regiment, have attracted my attention more than 
once, as also Adjutant D. M. Mclntyrc. Lieutenant-Colonel Arm 

The Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 255 

field, having returned to the regiment the day before the battle, was 
in command and was severely wounded." 

On December 13th, the army met three divisions of Burnside's 
army at Fredericksburg, Virginia. At this time, General Hill oc- 
cupied the front line formed of two regiments of Fields' brigade, and 
the brigades of Archer, Lane and Pender, the latter being on the 
extreme left. The enemy made several attempts to advance, but 
were repulsed. (General A. P. Hill's report). From the nature of 
the ground and the entire absence of all protection against artillery, 
Pender's Brigade received the greatest part of the terrible fire. 
General Pender was himself wounded. During the temporary ab- 
sence of General Pender, the command of the brigade devolved 
upon Colonel Scales, of the 13th. General Pender, though wounded, 
resumed the command of his brigade as soon as his wound was 

After the withdrawal of the enemy, the regiment, with Pender's 
brigade, went into winter quarters at Camp Gregg, below Freder- 
icksburg, and did picket duty near Moss Creek church. On De- 
cember 27th, Colonel William J. Hoke rejoined the regiment. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Armfield, while at home on furlough on account 
of a wound received at Shepherdstown, was elected solicitor, and re- 
signed his position in the army. Captain John Ashford was elected 
to fill the vacancy. The following is a copy of General Hill's order: 

Headquarters Light Division, 
Camp Branch, September 24, 1862. 
Soldiers of the Light Division: 

You have done well and I am pleased with you. You have 
fought in every battle from Mechanicsville to Shepherdstown, and no 
man can say that the Light Division was ever broken. You held 
the left at Manassas against overwhelming numbers, and saved the 
army. You saved the day at Sharpsburg, and at Shepherdstown you 
were selected to face a storm of round shot, shell and grape, such as 
I never before saw. I am proud to say to you that your services are 
appreciated by our general, and that you have a reputation in this 
army which it should be the object of every officer and private to 

[Signed] A. P. Hill, 

Major- General. 

The regiment remained in camp until the 28th of April, 1863, 

256 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

when the command marched in the direction of Fredericksburg, and 
remained in camp below the city until the evening of May i. 

On the morning of May 2 Jackson began to march upon Chancel- 
lorsville, and after a long and fatiguing journey the division was 
placed at right angles to the old turnpike road, Hill's Division being 
third in line, Rhodes' and Colston's being ahead of him. Hooker, 
having thrown up heavy works west, south and east, with the Chan- 
cellor house behind the center and with the dense thicket in front, 
was in a position almost impregnable. The flank movement was 
ordered about 6 o'clock in the afternoon. The Confederates rushed 
forward, cheering wildly, and in a few moments the enemy were com- 
pletely demoralized and fled. On account of the thickets the lines 
had been mingled in confusion, and it was necessary to reform the 
lines. The third line (Hill's Division) was ordered to the front. 
Pender's Brigade entered the road and pushed on by the flank until 
they reached the most advanced position of the troops. Here in the 
road the whole brigade received a most destructive shelling from the 
batteries near Chancellorsville. Hill's Division was now in front, 
and was engaged in relieving those who had been in the front line 
during the evening. On all sides the scattered troops were gathered 
around their colors. Jackson, accompanied by his staff and escort, 
rode down the road towards Chancellorsville. In the obscurity of 
the night they were mistaken for the enemy and fired upon, and 
Jackson was mortally wounded. As soon as the musketry fired the 
enemy's batteries again swept the turnpike with shell and canister. 
Pender massed his brigade to the left of the wood, threw out skir- 
mishers, and remained in this position until Sunday morning, May 
3. When daylight came next morning a private soldier in Company 
I, of the 38th North Carolina Regiment, found Jackson's gloves in 
the road where he had dropped them when shot. They were buck- 
skin gloves, with the name of T. J. Jackson inside the cuffs. 

Hill had intended an attack on the enemy as soon as he had formed 
his line in front, but soon after Jackson was wounded he himself was 
wounded, and the attack was not made. Major General Stuart was 
now in command of the corps. About dawn Sunday morning, May 
3, General Stuart renewed the attack, General Heth in command of 
Hill's division taking the advance. The enemy were again charged 
in the face of their deadly fire, and twice were their works taken and 
twice relinquished. About ten o'clock the Federal army was driven 
by a mighty charge from all the fortified positions, back towards the 
Rappahannock, with heavy loss in killed, wounded and prisoners. 

The Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 257 

On account of the nature of the country, this region being known 
as the wilderness, rapid pursuit was almost impossible. In the charge 
the troops were scattered, and after being gotten together, the com- 
mand maintained its position Sunday and Monday, and on Tuesday 
evening the enemy re-crossed the river. General Pender in his re- 
port says: 

" I can truly say that my brigade fought, May 3, with unsurpassed 
courage and determination. I never knew them to act universally 
so well. I noticed no skulking, and they never showed any hesita- 
tion in following their colors. My list of killed and wounded will 
show how manfully they fought on that glorious day. After having 
witnessed the fighting of nearly all the troops that fought on the left 
of the road I am satisfied with my own but by no means claiming 
any superiority. All that I saw behaved as heroes. * * * 

"Lieutenant-Colonel John Ashford, Lieutenants Alsa J. Brown, 
John Robinson, 38th North Carolina, the former part of the time 
and the latter part of the time in charge of my sharpshooters, dis- 
tinguished themselves very much. Colonel Ashford was remarked 
for his gallantry by all, and Lieutenant Brown continued with or in 
charge of the sharpshooters for several days. He is a young man 
who deserves promotion. He kept his skirmishers so close to the 
enemy's breastworks on Monday and Tuesday as to pick off the 
artillery horses, men working on their trenches, and any one seen 
mounted. He drove in other skirmishers on all occasions. I should 
mention that Major M. McR. McLaughlin, 38th North Carolina, was 
badly wounded while behaving most gallantly. Adjutant D. N. 
Mclntyre is also spoken of for his distinguished conduct." 

The loss of the brigade was 700, the 38th North Carolina losing 
two officers, Captain McRae and Lieutenant Hare, killed. Officers: 
eighty-one wounded; sixteen privates killed; twelve missing. The 
Confederate Congress passed an act by which badges might be given 
to enlisted men, whom the companies might select as being entitled 
to them. After the battle of Chancellorsville the following were 
given badges: 

Company A — Private Jesse A. Nethercutt, Duplin county; Com- 
pany B — Private Thomas Dinkins, Yadkin county; Company C — 
Private Benjamin Sutton, Sampson county; Company D — First Ser- 
geant David A. Thompson, Sampson county; Company E — Private 
William J. Hutcheson (killed), Richmond county; Company F — 
Private William S. Huffman, Catawba county; Company G — Private 

258 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

W. F. Matheson, Alexander county; Company H — Corporal D. P. 
Woodburn, Randolph county (killed at Gettysburg) ; Company I — 
Private Thomas J. Ramsey, Cleveland county; Company K — Pri- 
vate W. H. McPhail, Cumberland county. 

Medals were also recommended to be given to Adjutant Mclntyre 
and Lieutenant A. J. Brown. 

When A. P. Hill took command of Jackson's Corps, after recov- 
ering from his wound, Pender, also wounded at Chancellorsville, was 
promoted to major-general, and Colonel A. M. Scales, the senior 
colonel of the brigade, to brigadier-general. Scales being absent on 
account of a wound received at Chancellorsville, Colonel W. J. 
Hoke was placed in command of the brigade and continued in com- 
mand until Scales rejoined the brigade near the Maryland line. The 
wound received by Major McLaughlin prevented him from returning 
to his command, and Captain G. W. Flowers was elected major. 

Headquarters Pender's Brigade, 

May 13, 1863. 
General Order No. 38. 

Upon resuming command of the brigade, it affords me great 
pleasure to express to you my high appreciation of your conduct and 
services in the late battle of Chancellorsville. Troops could not have 
fought better or more gallantly, opposing successfully such fearful 
odds, strongly posted and offering stubborn resistance, as evidenced 
by your loss, greater than that of any brigade in the army in pro- 
portion to numbers engaged. I may be exacting, but in this instance 
you may rest assured that I am perfectly satisfied. I am proud to 
say that your services are known and appreciated by those higher in 
command than myself. * * * 

[Signed] W. D. Pender, 

Brigadier- General. 

On the morning of June 6, 1863, the brigade went into line below 
Fredericksburg, in front of the Bernard house, the enemy being in 
the Port Royal road and in the valley behind the house. Colonel 
William J. Hoke was ordered to advance his skirmishers and fire if 
the enemy occupied the Port Royal road. Lieutenant Alsa J. Brown, 
afterwards captain of Company C, took command, assisted by Lieu- 
tenant Robinson, afterwards captain of Company B, and the other 
officers of the skirmish corps, about 200 men. Instead of feeling, 
he charged the enemy and attacked and drove from the road the 6th 

The Thirty -eighth North Carolina Regiment. 259 

Vermont, killing and wounding about thirty-five, and holding the 
road until the enemy recrossed the Rappahannock. 

After being encamped for about ten days, Hill Corps moved to- 
wards Gettysburg, Pender's Division arriving within eight miles of 
Gettysburg on the morning of the 30th. At 3 A. M., July 1st, the 
command took up line of march, Pender's Division with Mcintosh's 
Battalion of Artillery following Heth and Pegram's Battalion of 
Artillery. The field arrangement put Scales' brigade on the extreme 
left of the division, and the 38th North Carolina on the left of the 
brigade, its left resting on the Chambersburg pike. The advance of 
the enemy was driven back to the hills where their forces were to op- 
pose the advance of the Confederates. At the first charge Pender's 
Division was in the rear, Scales' and Thomas' brigades being on the 
right. The enemy offering determined resistance, Pender's Division, 
except Thomas' brigade, was ordered to the front. The ammuni- 
tion of the advance line having given out, they halted and lay down. 
Scales' brigade soon passed over them with the other brigades, 
rushed upon the ascent, crossed the bridge and commenced the 
descent just opposite the Theological Seminary. The regiment 
being on the flank, encountered a most terrific fire of grape and 
musketry in front. Every discharge made sad loss in the line, but 
the troops pressed on double quick until the bottom was reached, a 
distance of about seventy-five yards from the ridge just crossed and 
about the same distance from the college in front. By this time the 
line was badly broken. Every officer in Scales' brigade except one, 
Lieutenant Gardman, upon whom the command devolved, was disa- 
bled, 400 men killed, wounded and missing. The loss of the 38th 
was 100 in killed and wounded or captured. General Scales and 
Adjutant-General Riddick were wounded and Major Clark killed. 
Colonel Hoke, Colonel Ashford, Colonel Lawrence, Captain Thorn- 
burg, acting major, were among the wounded. Though wounded, 
Colonel Lawrence took command of the brigade and Captain Thorn- 
burg of the regiment. Some of the companies were without a single 

The regiment now was moved to the right of the line, and throw- 
ing out skirmishers to the right and front, it remained in this position 
until morning, it being then about 10 o'clock. Early next morning 
the brigade was placed on the right of the artillery. A line of skirm- 
ishers under command of Lieutenant A. J. Brown was thrown out, 
and was held against several strong attacks. The Scales brigade 
joined the division on the left again, and was joined on to Lane's 

260 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

brigade. On the morning- of July 3d, Scales' brigade was ordered 
to the right and placed in command of General Trimble, and while 
here suffered greatly from the artillery fire. The regiment was then 
ordered forward over a crimson plain. The Federal lines, as the 
regiment emerged from the woods, were about a mile in front. The 
troops were compelled to cross a fence, and were by this time losing 
heavily from grape and canister. The line was somewhat deranged. 
Captain Thornburg was disabled. About 150 yards from the ene- 
my's line another fence retarded the advance, but the troops rushed 
on and reached a third fence on the side of the road. There was by 
this time only a skirmish line. The 38th was then only a few feet in 
front of the enemy's infantry. The enemy rushed out to meet the 
advancing line, and a flanking party, concealed in ditches, captured 
about thirty men, besides killing a large number inside the Federal 
lines. Some tried to escape, but were shot down. Every man in 
Company A, except Adjutant H. C. Moore and Lieutenant A. J. 
Brown were shot down, and these were captured. Adjutant D. M. 
Mclntyre, acting brigade adjutant-general of Scales' brigade, es- 
caped. After the third day's fight the regiment had only about 
forty men, commanded by a first lieutenant. 

The two brigades, Lane's and Scales,' were reduced to mere 
squads, and after the retreat, a line was formed again where the first 
line was formed, and the brigade remained here until the 4th, when 
the retreat to Hagerstown began, which place was reached on July 
7 th. 

On July nth, line of battle was formed, and the regiment re- 
mained here until the night of the 13th, but no fight ensued except 
skirmishing. After this, the retreat to Falling Water began, Pen- 
der's division being rear guard. The Potomac was crossed and 
Culpeper Court House reached August 1st. The division went into 
winter quarters at Orange Court House, and the regiment did picket 
duty on the Rapidan. On the 7th of February, during General 
Scales' absence, Colonel Hoke commanded the brigade against an 
advance of the enemy on the brigade picket line at Barnett's Ford on 
the Rapidan, and it maintained its position until the enemy retired. 
After the death of Pender at Gettysburg, Wilcox became division 

On the morning of May 4th, the enemy under General Grant, 
crossed the Rapidan at Ely's and Germanna Fords. Two corps of 
Lee's army moved to oppose him, Ewell's by the turnpike and Hill's 
bv the plank road. As soon as the Confederate forces reached the 

The Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 261 

enemy, a strong attack was made on Ewell, who repulsed them, but 
soon they returned, massing- a heavy force against Hill. Heth's and 
Wilcox's divisions met every assault and successfully resisted them, 
but the enemy continued to make attacks until nightfall. Next 
morning, as Longstreet was relieving Hill, the enemy made an at- 
tack which at first created some confusion, but as soon as the troops 
recovered themselves, the enemy was driven back with spirit rarely 
surpassed. At night an attack was made against the enemy, and 
they being panic stricken by the cheering of the Confederate army, 
a stampede was begun, which led to a general rout. 

The third army corps under General Early (Hill being unwell), left 
the position at the Wilderness, May 8, 1864, an d engaged in the 
great battles of Spotsylvania Court House when the 38th lost several 
brave men. The regiment was in the attack made by General Hill 
on General Warren, at Noel's station, May 23d, and the skirmishing 
at Riddle's shop, June 13th, and on down to Petersburg which was 
reached June 18th. 

The following is a resolution of the Confederate Congress, May 
17, 1864: 

' ' The Congress of the Confederate States of America do resolve, 
That the thanks of Congress are eminently due, and are hereby ten- 
dered to the 34th and 38 Regiments of North Carolina Troops, for 
the promptness and unanimity with which they have re-enlisted for 
the war." 

Colonel Hoke, from wounds received in battle, was disabled for 
field service, and was appointed for the post at Charlotte. Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel John Ashford was promoted to the command of the reg- 
iment; Major George W. Flowers to be lieutenant-colonel, and 
Captain J. T. Wilson to be major. 

The regiment was engaged in a very hard-fought battle at Ream's 
Station, when the divisions under Wilcox, Mahone and Johnson 
attacked the enemy and captured about 2,000 prisoners. Hill 
attacked General Warren at the Davis house, on the Weldon road, 
three miles from the city, August 21, 1864, defeating him and cap- 
turing 2,700 prisoners. The regiment suffered severely in this en- 
gagement. The command remained around Petersburg until April 
2, 1865, when the Confederate lines were pierced in three places. 
The 38th was ordered out of the works, and was soon thereafter on 
the retreat from Petersburg. The enemy were pursuing the retreat- 
ing troops very hard, and first one regiment and then another were 

262 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

thrown out as skirmishers to retard the enemy. A line of battle was 
formed and breastworks were thrown up at Southerland's farm, and 
when the enemy made an attack they were repulsed with heavy loss 
and several prisoners were captured. The enemy turned the flank 
at about 4 P. M., and the Southern troops were again compelled to 
retreat. Cook's, Scales' and McRae's North Carolina Brigades and 
McGowan's South Carolina Brigade, the troops on the right of the 
break in the line, formed the corps. The North Carolina Regiments, 
13th, 22d, 27th and 40th, were thrown out to check the enemy while 
the other troops endeavored to cross, hoping to rejoin the main army 
from which the brigades had been separated. It was found impos- 
sible to cross, and the regiments thrown out were recalled, when the 
troops pursued their way up the river until about 2 o'clock at night 
when they rested. 

The march was begun at sunrise the next morning, April 3d, and 
Deep Creek was reached about 9 A. M. A halt was made to let 
the wagon-train get ahead for safety, and an attempt was made to 
throw a temporary bridge across the creek in order to cross. The 
cavalry had been in the rear guard, and about 2 o'clock they came 
rushing up and reported that the enemy were pursuing. McGowan's 
brigade was enabled to cross the bridge, which was not yet com- 
pleted, but the other troops followed the wagons and crossed at a 
ford about three miles above the bridges. By this time the enemy 
were in sight, but no attack was made. The intention was to cross 
the Appomattox at Goode's bridge, but the waters were very high 
and it was impossible to get to the bridge on account of the over- 
flows, therefore the troops were marched up the river, and as night 
came on went into camp at the cross roads above the bridge. 
Couriers were sent to find a place to cross, in order to join General 
Lee's army, and about 1 o'clock the command was ordered to march. 
After crossing the river and marching through open fields and by- 
roads, Anderson's Georgia brigade was reached. This brigade was 
the leading brigade in Lee's army, and had crossed on a pontoon 
bridge when the whole army was then crossing. There was great 
rejoicing on the part of the soldiers at again meeting their comrades, 
from whom they had been separated three days. The regiment was 
halted about sunrise and breakfast was prepared, after which the 
march was continued to Amelia Courthouse, Va. , where the night 
was spent. The .enemy next morning attacked and began burning 
the wagon-train, but were driven off. The retreat was continued, 
the rear guard having frequent fights with the enemy. 

The Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. 263 

On Friday, April 7, T865, Farmville, Va., was reached, and Scales' 
brigade relieved Cook's brigade as rear guard of the infantry. The 
enemy having crossed the river, pressed the lines very hard and con- 
sequently the rear guard was engaged in several attacks and suffered 
severely. The enemy was driven off, and this was the last fighting 
in which the regiment was engaged before the surrender. 

Saturday, April 8th, the regiment camped about three miles from 
Appomattox Courthouse, Va. As Appomattox Courthouse was ap- 
proached the next morning the Federal line was seen on the hill at 
the courthouse. Line of battle was drawn up and it was expected 
that an advance would be made. It began to be rumored that a sur- 
render was made, but nothing definite could be learned until 12 
o'clock, when it was known that Lee had indeed surrendered. It 
was soon learned that the soldiers would be paroled and given per- 
mission to return home. 

Monday morning, April 10, 1865, the farewell address of General 
Lee was read to the regiment. All the soldiers of the regiment had 
the opportunity of shaking hands with General Lee and hearing him 
say, "God bless you, boys; I hope we shall meet again!" After 
remaining in this position until Wednesday, April 12th, the regiment 
was marched over near the courthouse, where the arms were stacked 
in front of the enemy. On the same evening the soldiers were fur- 
nished with the following: 

Appomattox C. H., Va., April 10, 1863. 

The bearer of Co. , 38th Regiment of North 

Carolina Troops, a paroled prisoner of the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia, has permission to go to his home, and there remain undis- 

Jos. H. Hyman, 
Colonel ijth N. C. Troops, Commanding Scales' B? r igade. 

The 38th Regiment of North Carolina Troops was disbanded and 
passed out of existence. 


Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, September 18, 1897.] 


Twenty-First Virginia Infantry. 

Its Roster, with Brief Record of its Service. 

Cumberland C. H. , Va. , September u, i8gy. 

There was a reunion of the Cumberland Grays' Association at 
Cumberland Courthouse recently. This company was commanded 
first by Captain F. D. Irving, who was in command of it from the 
1st of July, 1861, to the 21st of April, 1862, when he refused re- 
election and retired from service. 

Captain A. C. Page was elected its second captain, and was wounded 
at the battle of Sharpsburg. His leg was amputated, and he was 
retired from the service. At the earnest solicitation of Charles H. 
Anderson, the first lieutenant of the company, second lieutenant 
John A. Booker, who was on detached duty as A. A. A. General to 
General J. R. Jones, was appointed captain, and remained as such 
until the end of the war. 

In the second fight at Manassas the ammunition of the regiment 
gave out, but our second lieutenant was a brick-layer, and seeing the 
railroad was levelled with brickbats and stones, he threw the first 
stone and ordered the men to beat back the first line of Yankees, 
which they did so effectually that the entire brigade in an instant 
took up the same weapons. With what effect, history has told. 

At the roll-call of the company at the reunion it was seen that of 
the 103 officers and men who were enlisted only forty-eight were 

The following is a list of those who were killed or died since and 
during the war: 

Captain F. D. Irving, died since the war. 
Captain A. C. Page, died since the war. 
Lieutenant C. H. Anderson, killed at Fisher's Hill. 
Lieutenant E. E. England, killed at Petersburg. 
Sergeant-Major William Denny, died since the war. 

The Cumberland Grays, Company D. 265 

Sergeant M. J. Dunkum, died since the war; lost a leg at Brandy 

Sergeant W. S. Anderson, died at Valley Mountain. 
Sergeant Bolden Brown, died in 1862. 
Sergeant D. M. Coleman, killed at Fisher's Hill. 
Corporal W. M. Cooke, wounded; died since the war. 


Ayres, T. J., wounded; died since the war. 

Anderson, Meredith, killed at Kernstown. 

Austin, M. G., wounded at Gettysburg, and died. 

Booker, Charles W., died since the war. 

Baughan, W. L., died since the war. 

Baughan, William, died in 1862. 

Baughan, David, killed at Gettysburg. 

Baughan, Robert, mortally wounded at Petersburg. 

Cooke, S. W., wounded at Mine Run and died since the war. 

Coleman, W. D., killed at Monocacy, Md. 

Coleman, W. A., died at Staunton in 1862. 

Creasy, Edward, killed at the Wilderness in 1864. 

Cunningham, W. H., died in prison. 

Dowdy, John M., died in 1861. 

Dowdy, E. E., died in 1862. 

Dowdy, John D. , died in prison. 

Dowdy, James, killed at Cedar Mountain. 

Dowdy, Wilson M., while in the hospital at Winchester, in 1862, 
hearing that his company was in a heavy engagement, seized a mus- 
ket, and running at a double-quick, fainted, fell, and in two days a 
little mound was raised to mark the spot where this gallant soldier 

Dunford, John F., killed at Gettysburg. 

Edwards, Thomas, died in hospital. 

Flippen, Charles, killed at Kernstown. 

Flippen, J. T. , wounded at Chancellorsville, and died since the 

Flippen, Allen, died in 1862. 

Flippen, William, died in 1861. 

Godsey, Daniel L., died since the war. 

Garnett, Robert K., killed at Gettysburg. 

266 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Garnett, James S., lost a leg; since died. 
Hendrick, Merritt S., died in 1861. 
Hatcher, Joseph, died in 1862. 
Harris, Joseph N. , died since the war. 
Jones, Levi, died since the war. 

King, George H., was the last man killed at Gettysburg in his 
company, a few yards from the enemy's line. 
Merryman, James, died soon after the war. 
Mahr, J. C. L., killed at Kernstown. 

Meador, Robert J., wounded at Gettysburg and died since. 
Meador, Mike, died since the war. 
Meador, John L., died in 1861. 
Parker, Thomas, died in 1861. 
Parker, Jerry, died since the war. 
Parker, I. A., died since the war. 
Price, John B., killed at Cedar Mountain. 
Snoddy, John S. , died since the war. 
Shores, Thomas, died since the war. 
Wootton, John and A. W., died since the war. 

Number killed during the war - 16 

Number died during the war - - - - 18 

Number died since the war - - - - - 21 

Number still living ------ 48 

Total -____.- 103 

There were twenty-eight wounded and five who lost limbs during 
the war, and one had his leg, which was wounded, amputated since 
the war. 

Evacuation of the City of Richmond. 267 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, July 4, 1897.] 



How the News was Received in Danville — Some of the Closing 
Scenes of the Confederacy Vividly Recalled. 

(Colonel J. H. Averill in Nashville Banner.) 

The coming of the remnants of that army in gray, whose deeds 
so astonished the world a third of a century ago, and the presence 
among us here of the last survivor of the cabinet of President Davis, 
brings vividly back some of the closing scenes of the Southern Con- 
federacy, in which the writer participated, and which were several 
years since written out, and are here retold at the request of the 

The scene I will describe pertains to the evacuation of Richmond 
and the fifteen days immediately following. 

The writer was at the time trainmaster of the Richmond and Dan- 
ville Railroad, and stationed at Danville, Va., the road then running 
only from Richmond to Danville, there connecting with the Piedmont 
road to Greensboro, N. C. How this railroad line, then the main- 
stay of the Southern Confederacy, the only line of communication 
between its capital and the Southern States, has grown and extended 
its lines; how the old Richmond and Danville went down, as the 
Confederation of States it supported, and how, from that wreck, has 
arisen the rtow well-known Southern Railway, permeating every 
Southern State! Can the growth of that system in any way be 
attributed to the rapid growth and improvement of the South, and 
can we paint the picture of the two eras as having any connection ? 

But to our story: It is well remembered by all who lived in the 
closing days of the Confederacy that the first official news of the 
intended evacuation of Richmond on that Sunday in April was com- 
municated to its citizens in church, and through the hurried calling 
of the President from church. 

Our first intimation of it was not in being called from church, but 
at noon on that quiet Sabbath day in Danville, for it was quiet there, 
140 miles away from the city, which was so soon to witness the sad- 

268 Souther)} Historical Society Papers. 

dest scene in its history. On being awakened from a sound sleep, 
the first I had enjoyed for twenty-four hours (for in those days a 
railroad-man slept when he could, and that was not often), by the 
telegraph operator with the information that " Richmond says come 
to the key at once." Reporting there as soon as possible, I soon 
received the following: " Hold all trains in Danville; send nothing 

Having heard nothing of impending danger to Lee's army, or of 
the probability of the evacuation, I asked the reason for the order. 
None was given, and our construction of it then was that Richmond 
had news of a raid out from the Federal army, and that it was feared 
that our lines would be cut between Burkeville and the Staunton 
river. We took our local wire and interrogated the operators on the 
line for news of the raiders, but they knew nothing. 

It was time for the regular passenger train to leave for Richmond. 
Many passengers were gathering, and the question was frequently 
asked, " Where is the train ? Why is it not at the platform ? What 
is the matter ? " Leaving time had come and passed. Then those 
of the passengers who lived in Richmond grew anxious and suspi- 
cious. I was questioned on all sides, but could tell nothing. Soon, 
however, another message came as follows: " Come to Richmond 
with all engines and empty passenger and box-cars you can pick up. 
Bring no freight or passengers. ' ' 

We got the four engines we had in the yard ready to run with what 
cars we had, and reported for running orders, and were told to await 
further instructions. They came. I have them yet. The message 
was short, and read as follows : 

" Too late. Richmond is being evacuated. We will all leave this 
P. M. Arrange for all track room possible in Danville." 

Now we must tell the waiting, expecting passengers. It was a 
scene never to be forgotten. One man shed tears as he came and 
offered any amount I would name for an engine to take him to Rich- 
mond, where his wife and children were. Others seemed to be com- 
pletely crushed and unable to express themselves. Some walked off 
looking as though they had lost their all. 

Soon Danville knew the story, and the noble people of that Vir- 
ginia city began their preparation to receive and take care of as 
many of the refugees as possible. Daylight brought the first train — 
the President of the Confederacy, his Cabinet, their families and 
many members of Congress. Other trains soon followed. There 
were women and children in box-cars, many without baggage, few 

Evacuation of the City of Bichmond. 269 

with anything to eat. It was a sad scene, but the doors of the Dan- 
ville houses were wide open, an old Virginia welcome met the refugees, 
and they were soon housed as comfortably as possible. 

We then knew all in regard to the evacuation of Petersburg, and 
that Lee and his generals, with that gallant remnant of our Army of 
Northern Virginia were (we could not realize it then), in retreat, as 
we supposed, moving to join Johnston's army, and we were ordered 
to prepare to take trains of supplies to them at Mattoax Station, 
where they would cross the railroad. There were large government 
storehouses in Danville, all filled to the ceiling, as well as many 
loaded cars, awaiting shipment. Trains of supplies were made up, 
but it was slow work. The yard was crowded with cars. Cabinet 
Ministers and their families and other prominent people, living in box 
cars, were in our way, and we could not get rid of them, but did the 
best we could. Our first train was ready when the order came to 
hold it. Lee had not been heard from. The next we heard it was 
too late; he had crossed the road, going in the direction of Appo- 
mattox, and no provisions in sight to feed the starving soldiers, while 
there were thousands of rations in the storehouses and cars in Dan- 
ville, soon to be raided and plundered by a mob. Some one blundered 
Time passed rapidly. There was no opportunity for sleep or rest. 
I was in the yard busily engaged in getting a train off for Greens- 
boro'. The assistant superintendent came up and said: "John, 
come here." I joined him. "Lee has surrendered." I felt as 
though the ground had opened up under me. He was an operator, 
and had caught the news off the wire as it was flashed to President 
Davis. It was then 3 P. M., and at 5 P. M. an aide of the President 
came down and ordered an engine, a flat-car, a stock-car a box-car, 
and a passenger coach, to carry President Davis and party to Greens- 
boro', then held by General Johnston. 

The train was made ready, but one after another of the President's 
Cabinet and men of prominence arranged with the President's staff 
officer for their box-car to be taken on. All this took time, but, 
with as much haste as possible, car after car was added, until ten cars 
composed the train. We told them we could take no more. They, 
however, insisted, and two more were added. The engine was in 
bad order, and blew out a cylinder-head five miles from Danville. 
More time was lost in getting another engine to take its place. 
When the morning dawned the operator said the wire to Greens- 
boro' was gone, and it was impossible to obtain information of the 
President's train. We did not, however, wait long. Soon the tick, 

270 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

tick of the instrument was heard. I asked the operator who it was. 
He said "Beneja," a station eleven miles from Greensboro'. 
"What?" said he. ''Ah, this is the reply: 'Watchman at Big- 
Troublesome Trestle is here. Says just at dawn as train passed going 
to Greensboro' , Yankees came out and burned trestle, missing train 
by only two minutes.' " The President had a narrow escape; the 
road was broken, and we were cut off from the South. Soon, how- 
ever, we had the wires in working order, but the dawn of day brought 
other trouble to us in Danville, and we gave very little thought to 
the Greensboro' end. 

Shifting the scene, I come down to the picturesque old town ot 
Washington, Ga., where recently I had pointed out the house in 
which President Davis and his party stopped on their retreat. Here 
was held the last official meeting of the Confederate government; 
here the President and his Cabinet gave up the cause as lost, and 
each member undertook to provide as best he could for his own 
safety. Had I the notes of the memorable journey from Danville to 
Washington, Ga., the meeting with Johnston at Greensboro', pages 
could be written of this meeting. The journey from Greensboro' to 
Charlotte, the flight from that point through South Carolina, and 
last, that final meeting at Washington, are all events of greatest 
interest, and columns could be written; but these notes cannot be 
obtained in time for this article. 


But to resume our story at Danville. As stated before, there were 
warehouses filled with provisions, stores, etc., for the army. The 
neighboring hills of Virginia and North Carolina and the valley of 
the River Dan were well populated. The news of the fall of Rich- 
mond, the surrender of Lee, and the flight of the Confederate Gov- 
ernment had been carried to them. Many stragglers from the army 
had already reached Danville; in fact, they had been coming daily 
since the retreat of Lee from Petersburg. With the dawn of day 
women and children, old and young, began to pour in from the sur- 
rounding country and congregated in crowds around the warehouses. 
There was a rear guard of two companies left to protect the property; 
they tried to stop the rising storm. The crowd only waited for a 
leader. Soon one was found in a tall woman, who, with the cry, 
" Our children and we'uns are starving; the Confederacy is gone up; 
let us help ourselves," started in, followed by hundreds. Aided by 
the stragglers, the unresisting guards were soon swept out of the 

Evacuation of the City of Richmond. 271 

way and the work of plundering began. A major from Lynchburg 
attempted to stop it, but he was soon glad to be able to retreat. 
Soon wagons, carts, . wheelbarrows and every other conceivable 
means of removing the coveted supplies were pressed into service; 
women and children staggered under loads impossible under other 
circumstances for them to carry. But this scene was speedily put to 
an end in an unexpected and fatal manner. Near two of the largest 
warehouses the Confederate Ordnance Department had stored a large 
amount of loaded shells and a large amount of powder. 

As I stated before, a large number of stragglers were in town, and 
we had been asked to send them as far as possible in the direction of 
Greensboro'. The train was partially loaded, and nearly ready to 
start. They had broken into the powder house, and many of them 
were carrying off quantities of it — others still lingered around. 
Many of the town boys, both white and black, were securing their 
share of the ammunition. Suddenly a deafening sound was heard, 
shells flew through the air, and bodies of men and boys, and frag- 
ments of limbs were scattered in all directions. I was standing about 
300 yards from the wreck of the building, when a piece of shell 
weighing six pounds, passed between the superintendent and myself. 
Had it deviated twelve inches either way, one of us would have been 
killed. The wreck took fire. This heated the shells, and for six 
hours the bombardment, as it were, continued. The stragglers and 
women did not grasp the situation, and the cry was raised: " The 
Yankees are firing into us," and within thirty minutes not a strag- 
gler could be found in Danville. Many had dropped their plunder 
in the hurried flight, thinking only to get out of the way of the sup- 
posed Yankees. Soon we went to the scene of slaughter to assist any 
needy survivor. The first we met was a well known citizen of Dan- 
ville. In his arms he bore the mangled remains of his only son, a 
bright lad of fourteen, whom I had talked to not an hour before. 
We had two colored boys, twins, about fourteen years old, both 
bright youngsters, and liked by all. We found Tom fatally injured. 
We raised him tenderly to take him to the hospital near by. He 
said: "Jim is there." We found his remains, but he was spared 
the agony Tom had to endure before death relieved him. The ex- 
plosion was caused by a soldier dropping a match, and fifty lives 
were sacrificed through that carelessness. 

Most of our trainmen and engineers had lived in Richmond, their 
families were there, they had not been able to move them the day 
of the evacuation; the men had been gradually leaving us, and all 

272 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

belonging in Richmond were soon en route, walking the long, dreary 
140 miles to try and find their loved ones. 

A couple of days after the evacuation of Richmond the bridge 
over the Staunton river had been burned. We maintained train 
service between Danville and this point for several days after the 
surrender of Lee's army, bringing in the men as fast as they came, 
there, wending their way to their, in many cases, desolate homes in 
the far South. 

Soon we were advised that a corps of the Yankee army was ap- 
proaching on the north bank of the river; that they were arranging 
to rebuild the bridge, and were crossing the river on a pontoon, en 
route for Danville, and to operate against Johnston's army. The 
superintendent ordered the trains withdrawn, and I was instructed 
to take all of the rolling stock of the 4-feet 8^2 -inch gauge, go to 
Greensboro, report to General Johnston, and follow the fortunes of 
that army. 


Peace negotiations were in progress between Johnston and Sher- 
man. I was advised the evening previous that the surrender would 
be officially announced in the morning. Calling all of our men 
together, the information was given them, and I was unanimously 
asked to take them all back to Danville at once. Engines were got- 
ten ready, and sitting on the pilot of the leading one, soon after 
night, I had my first sight of the camp-fires of the Fifth Army 
Corps, encamped around Danville. Soon we stopped at the picket 
lines, and an officer was interviewed. He was told all that we knew, 
and that our desire was to get into the Danville yard, and go to our 
homes. Permission was given to proceed, and we were soon back 
in our old quarters. 

The flag we loved was furled, the cause we had served had failed, 
and two years' hard work was at an end. We knew not where we 
would turn on the morrow, or what would be our future. We all 
sought rest, to be aroused at the break of day by an aide of General 
Wright, the Federal commander, with a request from the general to 
report to his quartermaster. Well do I remember our first meeting 
with Major Wright, the quartermaster of the 5th Army Corps. 
Numerous questions were put and answered in regard to the Rich- 
mond and Danville and Piedmont roads and its rolling stock, and 
we were astonished to be asked to gather our men and open up com- 
munications between Burkeville and Danville and Greensboro', for 

Sussex Light Dragoons. 273 

the purpose of handling supplies for the Federal army at Greens- 
boro' and Danville, and other purposes. We were told to take our 
own men to man the trains and engines, and none of the men who 
worked for Major Wright in the operations of those roads for the 
succeeding ninety days will ever forget the uniform kindness of him- 
self and his assistants. When the corps was ordered to the frontiers 
of Texas, in anticipation of trouble with the French in Mexico, the 
writer and many of his assistants were urged to go with them. We 
wanted rest, many of us had families in the South that we had not 
seen for months, and in the latter part of July we disbanded, as it 
were, and to-day we are like the survivors in gray — scattered. 

Two of the engineers who did faithful service to the Confederacy, 
and one or more of the conductors who served with me in those try- 
ing days, are now trusted employees of the Nashville, Chattanooga 
and St. Louis Railway. We are two small a body to think of re- 
unions. We sometimes meet, not as " ships that pass in the night," 
but on the car or around the engine of to-day, and discuss those old 
days of the past — the days that the average railroad man of to-day 
knows so little about or can comprehend how armies were moved 
and provisioned by the Southern roads, and how trains were run. 

We are, like the survivors, fast passing away, and will soon be 

known no more. 

Colonel J. H. Averill. 

[From the Richmond (Va.) Dispatch, Sept. iS, 1897.] 



Something of Its History. 

The following is the original roll of the Sussex Light Dragoons: 
Captain, Benjamin W. Belshes; First Lieutenant, George H. Dil- 
lard; Second Lieutenant, William W. Blow; Junior Second Lieuten- 
ant, P. S. Parker; First Sergeant, H. Q. Moyler; Second Sergeant, 
Thomas A. Dillard; Third Sergeant, E. T. Thornton; Fourth Ser- 
geant, William L. Adkins; Corporals, T. L. Johnson, F. L. Vellines, 
James E. Barker, Joseph H. Chappel; Privates, A. P. Adkins, J. D. 
Adkins, B. R. Birdsong, A. S. Birdsong, Henry Birdsong, Jr., J. 

274 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

A. Bishop, J. L. Chappell, E. T. Chappell, R. A. Cocke, T. E. 
Dillard, R. L. Dobie, J. J. Dillard, W. H. Dillard, E. M. Ellis, A. 
H. Ellis, W. H. Gwaltney, B. F. Harrison, R. K. Harrison, T. J. 
Harrison, James H. Harrison, J. W. Harrison, B. L. Hargrave, L. 
D. Holt, James R. Jones, L. E. Jordan, William E. Lamb, J. W. 
T. Lee, Samuel Little, Jesse Little, William H. Marable, J. R. 
Moore, John R. Morris, J. R. Parham, Nathaniel Rains, Jr., B. F. 
Rains, George S. Rives, George E. Rives, W. B. Scott, J. L. 
White, R. W. White, John R. West, A. C. Winston, W. W. 

These marched into Suffolk on twenty-four hours' notice, and 
were there mustered into the State service, April 22, 1861. The fol- 
lowing recruits joined the company before its reorganization for the 

Samuel J. Birdsong, P. H. Thorp, A. T. Dobie, R. H. Holloman, 
Joseph H. Dobie, R. P. Bendall, A. F. Harrison, A. M. Adkins, 
R. R. Bain, O. H. Baird, George H. Bailey, A. Briggs, J. W. 
Cocks, R. M. Dobie, S. T. Drewry, F. J. Ellis, N. B. Ellis, Theo- 
dore A. Field, Waverly Fitzhugh, George W. Gilliam, R. J. Gwalt- 
ney, S. G. Harrison, Triz. Harrison, R. T. Harrison, James B. 

Harvel, R. A. Horn, William F. Hansberger, Hathway, 

J. H. Jones, H. B. Kelly, J. M. H. Marable, J. T. R. Moore, John 
T. Morris, J. E. Moyler, Thomas S. Morgan, William E. Norris, 
William E. Newsome, F. D. Neblett, A. B. Parker, Joseph S. 

Parker, Joseph W. Parker, Richard Parker, John Pressom, 

Thoroughgood, A. D. White, R. G. West, Wood- 

ward, H. B. Walker, George B. Walker, P. F. Weaver. 

The roll of this company, with a brief history appended, has 
recently been sent in to the Adjutant-General's office for preserva- 
tion as State records. From this record the following is copied: 

" The above Company ' H,' 13th Virginia Cavalry, was originally 
organized in January, 1861, as 'The Sussex Light Dragoons,' Cap- 
tain Belshes commanding, at Waverly, Sussex county, Va. The 
services of this company were tendered by one of its officers to 
Major-General Taliaferro, of the Virginia militia, April 19, 1861, he 
having just taken charge at Norfolk. On April 21st the company 
marched to Suffolk, and was there (April 22d) mustered into the 
State service for twelve months by Brigadier-General Shands, of the 
Virginia militia, and reported for duty the same day at Norfolk. 
At the expiration of its term of enlistment (twelve months) the com- 
pany was reorganized for the war with largely increased numbers — 

Sussex Light Dragoons. 275 

W. N. Blow, Captain — at Currituck Courthouse, N. C, where it 
was then stationed. 

" At the evacuation of Norfolk this company brought up the rear 
of General Huger's command, and was the last company to march 
out of Norfolk, as it had been the first to march in. 

"At the organization of the Confederate States Cavalry under 
Major-General Stuart, June, 1862, this company was assigned as 
Company ' M ' to the First Virginia Cavalry, Colonel Fitz Lee com- 
manding, and was soon after transferred to the Fifth Regiment, Col- 
onel Rosser commanding. After the battle of Malvern Hill this 
company was ordered to Petersburg, and there became Company 
' H,' Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, as part of this newly organized 
regiment under Colonel Chambliss. The regiment was made up of 
two companies from Petersburg and two from each of the neighbor- 
ing counties — Prince George, Sussex, Nansemond and Southampton. 

"Under the head of ' Remarks,' the history of the company is 
outlined. The names of 178 men appear on the roll. Fifty-one 
were killed and wounded. Of these, twenty-one were killed on 
the battle-field, or died in hospital; sixteen were discharged, 
being disabled by wounds, and fourteen returned to duty. Thir- 
teen men were captured and released from prison at the surren- 
der; twenty-one were discharged, or did not re-enlist at the reorgani- 
zation of the company; nine were transferred to Company ' K,' of 
the Thirteenth, at the reorganization of the regiment; twelve men 
were promoted and commissioned in the regiment and other branches 
of the service; twelve others had permanent details. Fifty-seven 
men laid down their arms at Appomattox Courthouse. 

"The company always having more than the legal number on its 
roll, could only enlist non-conscripts — viz: boys under 18 years of 
age; hence the average age was under twenty years in 1863-64. 
No substitutes were accepted. 

"William N. Blow, 
" Captain Company H, Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry.''' 

276 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, July 16, 1S97 ] 



The Ninth Virginia and Eighth Illinois Regiments Cross 

Sabres — The Former Suffer Severely, but Cap= 

ture Some Prisoners. 

During the campaign in Maryland in 1862, the 9th Virginia Cav- 
alry was attached to the brigade commanded by General Fitz Lee. 
After nine days spent among the fine hay and rich yellow cornfields 
of Montgomery and Frederick counties, the regiment crossed the 
Catoctin mountain at Hamburg, at dawn on the morning of Septem- 
ber 14th. Hamburg was a rude and scattering village on the crest of 
the mountain, where the manufacture of brandy seemed to be the 
chief employment of the villagers, and at the early hour of our pas- 
sage through the place, both the men and women gave proof that 
they were free imbibers of the product of their stills, and it was not 
easy to find a sober inhabitant of either sex. 

To our troopers, descending the western slope of the mountain, 
the peaceful valley below, dotted over with well-tilled farms, with a 
bold stream winding down among them, presented a scene of un- 
usual beauty and loveliness. Near a large grist-mill the command 
was halted, after a march of several hours, and here rested beneath 
the shade of a large apple orchard until 4 o'clock in the afternoon. 
The distant boom of artillery assured us of the bloody conflict going 
on at South Mountain, the issue of which we were in suspense to 
know. The march in the afternoon brought the command to the 
vicinity of Boonesboro, where a brief halt was made after nightfall to 
rest and feed the horses. Near midnight the march was resumed in 
the direction of the mountain pass above Boonesboro. The disas- 
ter to our arms in the fight of the previous day was now made man- 
ifest, as artillery, ambulances and infantry were met retreating down 
the mountain. The brigade, having ascended a mile and a half, per- 
haps, above the town, was held in readiness to charge in column of 
fours. The nature of the ground was ill-suited to the operation of 

Maryland Campaign. v 277 

cavalry, and much relief was felt when, at dawn, we began to fall 
back towards Boonesboro. Our retreat was none too early, for 
already the columns of the enemy, with their bright muskets gleam- 
ing in the morning light, could be seen as we entered Boonesboro. 
More than once we were faced about as we retreated, as if to repel a 
threatened charge by cavalry. 

Having been halted in streets of Boonsboro, the men, after being 
so long in the saddle, were allowed to dismount, and for some time 
remained in this way, the men standing by their horses or sitting 
down on the curbstones and holding their bridle reins. Suddenly 
the order "Mount!" "Mount!" resounded down the street, and 
simultaneously a rapid fire of pistols and carbines was heard near 
at hand. Before the men could mount and form ranks, the rear 
guard, retreating at full speed, dashed into our already confused 
column, and in an incredibly short time the street became packed 
with a mass of horses and horsemen, so jammed together as to make 
motion impossible for most of them. At the same time the upper 
windows in some of the houses were hoisted and a volley of pistol 
shots poured down on our heads. The Federal cavalry, quickly 
discovering our situation, dashed up boldly and discharged their car- 
bines into our struggling and helpless ranks. When the way was 
opened, and retreat became possible, a general stampede followed, 
our whole force rushing from the town down the 'pike at a full gallop. 
This disorderly movement was increased by the discovery that some 
of the enemy's infantry had almost succeeded in cutting off our re- 
treat, and were firing from a corn field into our flank. 

We had scarcely gotten out of the town before our colonel's (W. 
H. F. Lee) horse was killed, and he, falling heavily on the 'pike, 
had to take flight, dust-covered and bruised, through the field on the 
left. Captain Hughlett's horse fell in like manner on the edge of 
the town, and he, leaping the railing, found concealment in a dense 
patch of growing corn. In the middle of the turnpike were piles of 
broken stone, placed there for repairing the roadway. On these, 
amidst the impenetrable dust, many horses blindly rushed, and fall- 
ing, piled with their riders one on another. Here and there in the 
pell-mell race, blinded by the dust, horses and horsemen dashed 
against telegraph posts and fell to the ground, to be trampled by 
others behind. 

When the open fields were reached and we were beyond the range 
of the infantry, a considerable force was rallied and the Federal 
horsemen were charged in turn. In this charge our lieutenant-col- 

278 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

onel's horse was killed, and a second charge was led by Captain 
Thomas Haynes, of Company H, in which a number of prisoners 
belonging to the 8th Illinois Cavalry were captured and brought out. 
With this charge, pursuit by the enemy was checked, and two battle- 
flags, about which some brave men fell into ranks, with Fitz Lee in 
the centre, served as a rallying point where our regiments were 
quickly reformed. We then withdrew leisurely in the direction of 
Sharpsburg, and were not further pressed. 


In this brief and ill-starred encounter the 9th regiment lost two 
officers and sixteen men killed and mortally wounded, and ten men 
captured. Among the killed were Lieutenant Fowlkes, of Lunen- 
burg, and Frank Oliver, of Essex — two very gallant men. 

Captain Hughlett, who was dismounted early in the action by the 
falling of his horse, remained in concealment in the corn throughout 
the day, and was a sad and silent witness of the burial of his dead 
comrades by the enemy. Under cover of darkness, he sought food 
at the hands of a woman who was strongly Union in sentiment and 
had two sons in the Federal army. She relieved his hunger, and 
being strengthened at her hands, he made his way into our lines and 
reached the regiment next day, having had during the night several 
narrow escapes from the enemy's sentries. 

On the morning of the 16th of September the regiment was again 
in motion, after spending a quiet and restful night in a fine grove of 
oaks, and soon became satisfied that the movements of our army did 
not mean an immediate retreat across the Potomac, but a prepara- 
tion for battle in the beautiful, winding valley of the Antietam. Our 
line of march led us past the position of Hood's Division, the troops 
of which had already thrown up a slight breastwork of rails, logs, 
stones, &c, and lay on their arms, in readiness for the enemy's ad- 
vance. These gallant men, who were destined to meet the first 
furious onslaught of McClellan's troops, occupied rising ground, 
partly in the woods, and partly in the open fields, with an open val- 
ley winding in front of them. A few hundred yards in advance of 
Hood's line the cavalry was drawn up in line on a wooded eminence 
in rear of several pieces of artillery. The position commanded an 
extended view of open fields and a straight roadway leading towards 
Antietam river, and in the distance could be seen the heavy column 
of the advancing Federals. Their march was regular and steady 
towards our position. Only once, where a road diverged from that 

Maryland Campaign. 279 

on which they moved, was there a halt. After pausing at this point 
for a few minutes the column was set in motion again up the road 
on which we were posted. As yet no Federal skirmish line had 
been deployed, and only a few mounted men were visible. Infantry 
and artillery composed the heavy blue column. The foremost file 
of these troops had approached near enough almost to count the 
buttons on their coats, when our guns opened from the covert a 
rapid fire, and thus began the bloody battle of Sharpsburg. The 
Federal batteries were hurried forward rapidly, and our guns were 
soon withdrawn. In retiring we passed after dark through the valley 
on the farther side of which Hood's division rested on their arms. 
The Federals were now discharging a deafening fire of artillery, and 
a few guns on our side were answering them. As we moved through 
the valley the shells from two directions were passing over our heads, 
their burning fuses gleaming like meteors, and the whole making a 
comparatively harmless but brilliant spectacular performance. 

If I learned at the time to what battery the guns belonged that 
fired these first shots at Sharpsburg, I have quite forgotten now. I 
hope some reader of the Dispatch, whose eye may fall on this article, 
may know. The information is earnestly sought by the Antietam 
Battlefield Board, of the War Department. General E. A. Carman, 
of that board, writes from Sharpsburg on June 5th: 

" For some time I have been endeavoring to ascertain what force 
opposed Hooker's when he crossed the Antietam, on the afternoon 
of September 16th, and before he came in contact with Hood's di- 
vision, but have been unable to get anything satisfactory. He was 
opposed by artillery, yet I can get no trace of any artillery within a 
mile of where he was first fired at. I have come to the conclusion 
that the gun, or guns, opposing him, must have been one or more of 
Pelham's, but I cannot verify my conclusion, nor can I communicate 
with any survivors of that battery." 


The cannonading at nightfall was of short continuance, and it soon 
became almost as quiet on the field of Sharpsburg, as though no 
armies were there confronting each other. The movement of the 
troops was made as noiselessly as possible. Our brigade was on the 
march for several hours, and through the mistake of a blundering 
guide, was led to a position very close to a line of Federal batteries. 
Here we slept unconscious of danger until nearly dawn. Before day- 

280 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

light, General Fitz Lee ascertained the situation of the command, 
and endeavored to extricate us as quietly as possible, going around 
himself arousing and cautioning many of the men. We had got 
a quarter of a mile away, perhaps, and had nearly reached a posi- 
tion of safety beyond the crest of a hill, when we were discovered, 
and the enemy's guns opened on us. This discharge began the fray 
on the memorable and sanguinary 17th of September, 1862. One 
of the first shells fired, striking the earth near us, exploded, covering 
some of us with dust, and inflicting on brave Colonel Thornton, of 
the 3rd Virginia Cavalry, a mortal wound. The writer was near him 
at the moment, and witnessed the shrugging of his shoulders and 
quiver of the muscles of his face, as he felt the shock of the piece of 
shell shattering his arm close to the shoulder. 

We had been, thus far, on the extreme left of our line of battle, 
and early in the day were ordered to report to General T. J. Jackson, 
who commanded on the right. Our men, without a round of ammu- 
nition left, were seen leisurely retiring towards the rear, singly and in 
groups. Some of our batteries, having shot their last round, were 
leaving the field at a gallop. General Jackson's order was that we 
should take position in rear of his troops, intercept the stragglers, 
and direct them to stated points, where they were refurnished with 
ammunition and marched back to the line of battle. Motioning to 
our captain to give him his ear, he directed him, in a whisper, not to 
halt any men of Hood's Division, saying they had liberty to retire. 
General Jackson's position was in the open field, near a large barn, 
that was burned during the day by the enemy's shells. He com- 
manded a full view of the contending lines in the valley below, and 
of the Federal batteries ranged one above another on the hills beyond. 
The shells of the latter were passing thickly, and bursting near him, 
while he sat on his steed giving his orders, as serene and undisturbed 
as his statue in the Capitol Square at Richmond. 

G. W. B. 


The Second Rockbridge Battery. 281 

[From the Rockbridge County News, February 5, 1897.] 

Its Roster and Career. 

Compiled by W. F. Johnston. Valuable services were rendered 
in getting up the lists by Captains John A. M. Lusk and W. K. 
Donald, and Orderly-Sergeant S. W. Wilson. 

The Second Rockbridge Battery was called such on account of 
being the second battery as to date of organization in the county. 
The list of officers and men who served in the company is given 
below. Being made up chiefly from memory, after a lapse of thirty- 
two years, it is probable that some omissions and inaccuracies may 
occur. This company was organized as an infantry company, owing 
to the want of artillery equipments at the time, and served as Com- 
pany B of the 52nd Virginia Regiment, then under Colonel Baldwin, 
and was a part of General Ed. Johnson's Brigade, doing service on 
Alleghany and Shenandoah mountains until the fall of 1861, when it 
was made an artillery company, and was attached to the same bri- 
gade till the artillery was made a separate command. After this it 
was a part of Mcintosh's battalion, in General A. P. Hill's corps, 
until the close of the war. 

It was mustered into service as the " McDowell Guard " in honor 
of Miss Lillie McDowell, then of Lexington, Va., a daughter of Gov- 
ernor James McDowell, now Mrs. E. P. McD. Wolff, of Georgia, 
who made the company a present of a pair of horses, harness and 
ambulance, besides furnishing a considerable amount of means for 
clothing equipment of the company. She also paid a bounty to a 
young man who was under military age, to go as her personal repre- 
sentative in the war. Her substitute, Alfred Sly, proved himself 
faithful to the trust until a few days before the fight at Gettysburg, 
when having been sent out with others on detached service, he was 
captured and held in prison until after the surrender of the army. 

This company was made up largely of farmers and farmers' sons 
and laborers. Practical knowledge of caring for and driving horses 
gave the battery an advantage over many others; being able to move 
with promptness under the most unfavorable circumstances. Quite 
a number of the men were from the Blue Ridge and vicinity, with- 
out the advantage of education, and nothing but principle to fight 

282 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

for; yet none bared their bosoms more willingly to the foe nor stuck 
to it more faithful to the last than they. 

The company was organized at Fairfield July 10, 1861, with Rev. 
John Miller captain, and Lieutenants Samuel Wallace, J. A. M. Lusk, 
and J. C. Dickinson, in the order named. In the reorganization 
May 1, 1862, J. A. M. Lusk was made captain, and W. K. Donald, 
Samuel Wallace, and A. J. Hayslett lieutenants in order named. 
Captain Lusk resigned June, 1863, on account of ill health. W. K. 
Donald was made captain, and served as such until the end. A. J. 
Hayslett, previous to May 1, 1862, served as company surgeon, and 
in 1863 was made surgeon of the battalion, and William T. Wilson, 
then a member of the Danville Blues, of Eighteenth Virginia Regi- 
ment, was elected lieutenant, and served as such until the close. 
After the promotions in consequence of Captain Lusk's resignation, 
Daniel Paxton was elected lieutenant, and remained such to the last. 
The battery did a great deal of hard service, and certainly deserves 
to rank below none in the faithful discharge of duty with alacrity to 
the last. Owing to the capture of a large number of the members 
on the morning of April 2, 1865, where the Confederate line was first 
broken, near the P. and W. railroad, there were only about forty of 
the company in the surrender. 


W. P. Alexander, James G. Allen, William Allen, B. F. Barnett, 
Hugh S. Beard, William Bartley, John Bowman, M. B. Campbell, 
James A. Campbell, W. A. Campbell, Sr., W. A. Campbell, Jr., 
N. M. Campbell, W. H. Cash, William Cash, J. W. Cash, John 
Cash, B. D. Cash, Joseph Cash, James P. Cash, Valentine Carver, 
John Cave, William Chandler, W. L. Clemmer, DeWitt Cline, A. 
A. Cochran, P. J. Coffey, Robert Coffey, Marvel Coffey, William 
M. Coffey, William M. Crist, Z. J. Culton, James B. Culton, J. W. 
Cupp, H. W. Decker, John F. Doyle, J. E. Drayton, J. L. Draw- 
bond, L. C. Drain, Eugene Durham, J. M. Eakin, John T. Ford, 

William A. Ford, James P. Ford, Gaylor, William C. Goolsby, 

James Goolsby, Thomas Gordon, A. J. Griffin, W. L. Hamilton, 
Harvey Hamilton, John F. Hamilton, J. J. Hamilton, Henry Ham- 
ilton, George J. Hamilton, Joseph Heslep, Ed. N. Heiger, John M. 
Hite, Samuel Hite, W. N. Hite, W. P. Hite, W. H. Hinty, George 

Hoyleman, John B. Hoyleman, Jacob B. Holler, Houchen, 

James A. Humphries, E. M. Hughes, J. P. Hughes, Calvin Hughes, 
James E. Jarvis, Churchville Jenkins, R. W. Johnston, Henry Keffer, 

The Second Rockbridge Battery. 283 

L. D. Kerr, W. D. Kerr, L. T. Leech, J. G. Leech, Preston Law- 
horne, William Lawhorne, William M. Long, William Lovegrove, 

J. Ludwick, J. C. Lynn, Moore, J. A. Mann, Nat. Moran, 

Dudley Morris, S. S. Miller, D. L. Miller, John Miller, R. S. Miller, 
J. P. Meeks, Thomas N. McCormick, William T. McCrory, Ed. H. 
McCrory, James H. McCown, Thomas P. McDowell, William W. 
McGuffin, S. R. McGuffin, Thomas P. McManama, Robert McNutt, 
David A. Ott, L. O' Brian, William Orenbaun, James H. Painter, 
A. J. Paul, Wm, D. Patterson, Win. A. Patterson, John Patterson, 
S. D. Paxton,Jas. T. Paxton, Jas. P. Paxton, John Paxton, Wm. H. 
Paxton, James H. Paxton, Thomas Paxton, Sam. Patter, John 
Pearl, William Pugh, James H. Pugh, John W. Risk, James P. 
Risk, Dabney Ramsey, William H. Selvey, Franklin Shewey, Wil- 
liam C. Shields, Franklin Shaver, Cooke Sloan, Alfred F. Sly, Adol- 
phus Sly, William A. Smiley, John B. Smiley, Joseph Sorrels, Geo. 
Sorrels, James E. Steele, Arch. W. Strickler, J. Ed. Taylor, Joseph 
Taylor, George W. Taylor, William P. Templeton, Benjamin Tem- 
pleton, Job Thorn, R. R. Tribbett, F. M. Tribbett, Matthew Vess, 
C. D. Vess, Albright Wallace, Ed. Wallace, J. W. Wallace, George 
White, Robert White, I. M. White, John White, J. W. Whitesel, 
E. M. Wiseman, James A. Wine, John A. Wilson, S. W. Wilson, 
Joseph M. Wilson, J. Womeldorf, George Wood and Cyrus With- 


Killed — J. H. McCown, Alleghany Mountain, December 12, 1861; 
W. P. Templeton and J. Ludwick, Cross Keys, June 8, 1862; Adol- 
phus Sly, Chancellorsville, May 3, 1863; Preston Lawhorn and 
Robert Coffey, Bristoe Station, October 14, 1863; George Hoyle- 
man, William J. Bartlett, and George White, Gettysburg, July 3, 
1863; Cyrus Goolsby, Thomas N. McCormick, and John T. Ford, 
Petersburg, July 30, 1864; John L. Drayboud, James T. Paxton, 
Franklin Shaver, and Lieutenant Samuel Wallace, Petersburg, April 
2, 1865. 

Died from Wounds — W. H. Paxton, wounded at Strasburg, June 

1, 1862; Houcher, wounded at Cross Keys, June 8, 1862; 

James P. Risk, wounded at Bristoe Station, October 14, 1863; 
James B. Culton, wounded at Bristoe Station, October 14, 1865; A. 
J. Griffin, wounded at Alleghany Mountain, December 12, 1861; 
Gaylor, Cross Keys, June 8. 1862. 

284 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Died from Sickness — William Allen, Joseph Cash, John Cash, 
William Cash, and Marvel Coffey, at Staunton in 1861; Eugene 
Durham, 1864; James Goolsby, 1861; Thomas Gordon, 1861; W. 
L. Hamilton, Petersburg, in 1865; John F. Hamilton, in prison, 
1864; Ed. N. Heizer, at Charlottesville, June 1865; Samuel Hite 
and W. N. Hite, at Staunton, 1861; William Lawhorn, at Staunton, 
1862; S. S. Miller and Thomas P. McDowell, at Gordonsville, 1862; 
William Orenbaun, 1861; James P. Paxton, in prison, 1863; John 
Paxton, at Richmond, 1862; Cooke Sloan, at Staunton, 1861; James 
Steele, at Point Lookout, April, 1865; Benjamin Templeton, at 
Staunton, 1861; John White and Cyrus Withers, at Richmond, 
1862; J. Womeldorf, 1861. 

Wounded and Recovered — Hugh S. Beard, Charlottesville, May 
3, 1862; James P. Cash and William H. Cash, Fredericksburg, De- 
cember 13, 1862; William M. Crist, Petersburg, April 2, 1865, lost 
leg; H. W. Decker, 1862; James P. Ford, Petersburg, July 30, 1864; 
George J. Hamilton, Petersburg, April 2, 1865; Robert W. John- 
ston, Petersburg, 1864; Robert McNutt, Spotsylvania, May 1864; 

D. A. Ott, Strasburg, June 1, 1862, lost arm; Thomas Paxton, 
Strasburg, June 1, 1862; Franklin Shewey, Bristoe Station, October 
14, 1863; C. D. Vess, Cross Keys, June 8, 1862, lost leg; Albright 
Wallace, Alleghany Mountain, December 12, 1861; Robert White,. 

E. M. Wiseman (lost foot), W. P. Alexander, Valentine Carver, J. 

F. Doyle, J. J. Hamilton, John M. Hite, J. B. Holler, L. D. Kerr, 
L. T. Luck, S. S. Miller, Arch Strickler, and Lieutenant W. T. 
Wilson, at Bristoe Station, October 14, 1863; Lieutenant W. K. 
Donald, Charlottesville, May 3, 1863. 


Number of men in all, 171. 

Number of men killed, 22. 

Number of men died from sickness, 25. 

Number of men wounded, 27. 

Number of men captured, 28. 

Retreat from Richmond. 285 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, June. 3, 1897-Jan. 18, 1898.] 



Its Heroic Conduct at Sailor's Creek— Additional Details. 

(See Ante, pp. 38, 134, 139.) 

Richmond, Va., May ji, i8gy. 

To the Editor of the Dispatch: 

Since writing my reminiscences of the retreat from Richmond, 
Sailor's Creek, etc., which appeared in your Confederate column on 
2d of May, I have visited my old comrade, Captain Shirley Harri- 
son, at ' ' Brandon. ' ' While there, he spoke in the highest terms of the 
gallantry of his first lieutenant, J. M. Green (Company D, 10th Vir- 
ginia Battalion of Artillery), and especially of the nerve and coolness 
displayed by him in a memorable night attack, while we were on the 
retreat. He explained how Lieutenant Green had been separated 
from his command, which accounted for his absence at Sailor's 
Creek, I noticed in your issue of yesterday a note from Lieutenant 
Green (now of New York), calling attention to the omission of his 
name and explaining his absence. I am glad of this opportunity of 
doing justice to a gallant comrade, who did not shirk his duty at the 
critical moment. 

I did not undertake to give a complete roster of the officers of my 
battalion, in fact, could not do so; but merely published the list of 
officers captured at Sailor's Creek, as it appeared in the New York 

There are, doubtless, others whose absence can be satisfactorily 
accounted for, and I am glad, in justice to his memory, to be able to 
explain the absence of my first lieutenant, Robert Elias Binford, as 
I am now reminded that this accomplished young officer was sick at 
Chimborazo Hospital, in Richmond. He was convalescing at the 
time of the evacuation, and left the city with the ambulance train; 
was captured on the retreat, but made his escape on a captured horse, 
and being unable to join his own command, was assigned to Dance's 
battery, and surrendered with the army at Appomattox. 

286 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

After the war he devoted his life to teaching the youth of the 
South, and died in Amherst county, Va., in June, 1896. 

Yours very truly, 

Thomas Ballard Blake, 

late Captain, etc. 

St. Louis, December 29, 1897. 
To the Editor of the Dispatch : 

While on a visit to Richmond last spring I gave some reminis- 
cences of the evacuation, retreat, Sailor's creek, &c, which ap- 
peared in your issue of May 22d. 

I had to rely entirely on memory, and was, therefore, very careful 
in my statements. I have recently been looking over the " Records 
of the Union and Confederate Armies," published by the govern- 
ment, and in Series 1, Volume xlvi, Parti, found the official reports 
of commanding officers of both armies, which confirm, in a striking 
degree, my recollections. These reports make special mention of 
the conspicuous part borne by the "Artillery Brigade " at Sailor's 
creek. I quote as follows: Major-General G. W. C. Lee, command- 
ing the divisions, composed of Barton's and of Crutchfi eld's Artil- 
lery Brigade, says: 

' ' Before my troops got into position across the creek the enemy 
opened a heavy fire of artillery upon our line, which was continued 
up to the time of our capture. After shelling our lines and skir- 
mishing for some time — an hour or more — the enemy's infantry 
advanced and were repulsed, and that portion which attacked the 
Artillery Brigade was charged by it and driven back across Sailor's 

"This brigade was then brought back to its orginal position, 
under a heavy fire of artillery. Finding that Kershaw's, which was 
on my right, had been obliged to retire, in consequence of the 
enemy having turned his right flank, and that my command was 
entirely surrounded, to prevent useless sacrifice of life, the firing 
was stopped by some of my officers, aided by some of the enemy's, 
and the officers and men taken as prisoners of war. I cannot too 
highly praise the conduct of my command, and hope to have the 
opportunity of doing it full justice when reports are received from 
the brigade commanders. Among a number of brave men killed or 
wounded, I regret to have to announce the name of Colqnel Crutch- 
field, who commanded the Artillery Brigade. He was killed after 
gallantly leading a successful charge against the enemy." 

Retreat from Richmond. 287 

Lieutenant-General Ewell, commanding the corps (Kershaw's and 
G. W. C. Lee's divisions), says that the Artillery Brigade of Lee's 
Division ' ' displayed a coolness and gallantry that earned the praise 
of the veterans who fought alongside of it, and even of the enemy. ' ' 

Our dashing cavalry leader, General Fitzhugh Lee, says: " Though 
portions of the force, particularly the command of General G. W. 
C. Lee, fought with gallantry never surpassed, their defeat and sur- 
render were inevitable." 

I will now quote from the report of the Federal commander, 
Major-General H. G. Wright, commanding the Sixth Corps, Army 
of the Potomac. After describing the disposition of his troops and 
our position on the opposite side of Sailor's creek, General Wright 
says : 

"The ist and 3rd divisions charged the enemy's position, carry- 
ing it handsomely, except at a point on our right of the road cross- 
ing the creek, where a column, said to be composed exclusively of 
the Marine (artillery) brigade and other troops, which had held the 
lines of Richmond previous to the evacuation, made a counter 
charge upon that part of our line in their front. I was never more 

"These troops were surrounded. The ist and 3rd divisions of 
this corps were on either flank; my artillery and a fresh division in 
their front, and some three divisions of Major-General Sheridan's 
cavalry in their rear. Looking upon them as already our prisoners, 
I ordered the artillery to cease firing, as a dictate of humanity. 

"My surprise was, therefore, extreme when this force charged 
upon our front; but the fire of our infantry, which had already gained 
their flanks, the capture of their superior officers, already in our 
hands, the concentrated and murderous fire of six batteries of our 
artillery within effective range, brought them promptly to a sur- 

It is needless for me to add a word to the proud record of the 
"Artillery Brigade" at Sailor's creek. That record is now a part of 
the history of this great country, but by giving this a place in your 
Confederate column, it will doubtless reach the eyes of many to 
whom the voluminous government records may not be accessible." 

Thomas Ballard Blake, 

Late Captain Co. E, 10th Virginia Battalion , Artillery Brigade. 

288 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, March 28, 1S97.] 


The Movement on New Berne Thirty-three Years Ago. 


Both Land and Naval Forces— A Singular Charge and a Singular Chase 
A Quick Surrender. 

Richmond, Va., March 23, i8gy. 
To the Editor of the Dispatch: 

Enclosed find an article on the movement to New Berne, N. C, 
by Pickett, in 1864. Much has been said about this movement, but 
very little credit given some of the Richmond men engaged. 

Yours, etc., 

E. W. Gaines. 


Thirty-three years ago the Confederate government conceived the 
idea of capturing New Berne, N. C, the movement being proposed 
by General George E. Pickett, who was at that time in command of 
the Department of North Carolina. As to why the movement was 
entertained, and what was to be gained, many opinions have been 
expressed by soldiers who were on the outside, rather than the inside, 
of councils held by their superior officers. 

It was known that the government was preparing to build boats on 
the Neuse river at Kinston; in fact, one was under way. The move- 
ment was finally made, the forces engaged on the south of the Neuse 
river, consisting of Generals Hoke's and Clingman's North Carolina 
brigades and a portion of Corse's brigade, with the 38th battalion of 
artillery, consisting of the Richmond Fayette artillery, Caskie's bat- 
tery, Stribling's battery and Latham's battery; General Dearing, 
with his cavalry and three regiments of infantry, was to threaten the 
north of the Neuse, while Benton's and Terry's Virginia brigades 
and Matt. Ransom's North Carolina brigade, with some cavalry and 
artillery, were to move on the Trent road. 

At the time of issuing of orders lor the above movement, the 

Fayette Artillery. 289 

Fayette Artillery, of Richmond, was in winter-quarters at Petersburg. 
The men had erected good quarters, and were greatly enjoying the 
rest so much needed by them. In fact, they were so nicely fixed 
that they entertained strong hopes it would be a long time ere they 
should have to take another long march, or participate in some 
bloody struggle. 

It was near the close of December, 1863, when this company was 
ordered into line, and orders were given to prepare rations for a 
march of several days. Here the hopes entertained by the men, as 
expressed in the preceding paragraph, were dashed to the ground, 
and all kind of conjectures were expressed as to what this movement 
meant — where were they to go; what was to be undertaken; what 
was to be gained, and lastly, but not the least, would all hands come 
back again ? 

The members of the company needed rest; they desired a relaxa- 
tion from the long marches and severe struggles so recently under- 
gone; but orders issued during war are inexorable; so to the work 
the men went. Camp-fires were kindled, and rations, composed of 
the best of the land that could be furnished by the powers that then 
existed, were prepared and packed away in haversacks In a few 
hours all was in readiness for the march. The drivers here received 
orders to harness and hitch horses to the guns, the ammunition in 
the gun-chests and caissons was examined as to condition, etc., and 
a report made to the commanding officer, Lieutenant William I. 
Clopton. As soon as this report was received, the drivers were 
ordered to mount, and to the command, "Forward, march!" the 
battery moved off, the men still wondering, where! 

The battery had not been on the road but a very few hours before 
it was discovered that the company had crossed the line and were in 
North Carolina. The march was continued on to Goldsboro, when 
the cars were taken to the town of Kinston, on the Neuse river. 
On reaching Kinston we encamped for several days, in order to give 
the men and horses rest. 

On the 1st of January, 1864, the weather being as warm as an 
August day, the company was again ordered on the march. The 
sand in the road just below Kinston was several inches deep, and the 
pulling of the guns and heavy caissons was exceedingly hard. After 
we had proceeded about ten or twelve miles the horses, covered with a 
lather of foam and the men considerably fatigued, on account of the 
heat and the tramp through the heavy sand, a countermarch was or- 
dered. Back to Kinston we went, where we encamped until February. 

290 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

During this encampment the men learned through some source on 
what point this portion of the army was expected to move. It was 
whispered through the camp that the march was to be on to New 
Berne, and it was further said that the land forces were to be sup- 
ported, or assisted, in the attack on the town by men in long boats 
on the Neuse river, under command of Colonel R. Taylor Wood. 
These boats, it was stated, were to be equipped with all necessary 
appliances and the men were to be armed with cutlasses, etc. , for 
boarding vessels, and on arriving in sight of the town, and if gun- 
boats should be seen in the river, the men were to lay to their oars 
and secrete themselves as best they could under the over-hanging 
boughs of the trees on the banks of the stream, when they were to 
remain until nightfall, when a concerted move on the part of the 
crews of the several boats was to be made on the Federal gunboats 
and the latter taken, if possible, by boarding; or, finding that this 
would be an impossibility, they were to make the attempt to blow 
them up if they could do so. A boat was captured by this expedi- 
tion, but not without severe resistance. 

The month of February at last arrived, camp was broken, and the 
forward march again resumed. As the battery, with the infantry 
and other artillery took the road toward the little seaport town of the 
Old North State, the boats above spoken of, with their crews, the 
latter being in high spirits and proposing to give a good account of 
themselves, moved off quietly down stream. 


None of the men of the land forces knew anything of the road 
upon which they were traveling. They did not know what was in 
front of them or how many of the enemy they might encounter 
before they reached the goal the government at Richmond seemed 
to be so desirous of possessing. The forces had traveled three days 
and had not obtained sight of a single man decked out in blue. On 
the night of the third day there was a halt, orders were quietly issued 
that there were to be no camp-fires, and all talking must be done in 
a very low tone. 

The guns stood in line in the middle of the road with the horses 
still hitched to them, and the men lay on the ground to get, if pos- 
sible, a few minutes' rest; for they fully realized that they Mere in 
the enemy's country, and knew not what was in store for them on 
the next day, or how severe a struggle they might have to go through. 

The morning broke with a thick fog or mist hanging low, and the 

Fayette Artillery. 291 

men could not see a great distance ahead of them. A forward move- 
ment was ordered, the men again being reminded to be as quiet as 
was possible. Probably not more than half a mile had been tra- 
versed before another halt was ordered, the command given to 
unlimber the guns, and for the third time was the company reminded 
to be very quiet in executing orders. 

After the guns had been unlimbered, to the surprise of the can- 
noneers and the non-commissioned officers, the command was given 
to move the guns forward by hand. All orders were executed to the 
letter, but in carrying out the last command (to move the guns by 
hand) the distance proved very short, for the men found themselves 
on the crest of an incline which led down to a small stream of water, 
which was afterwards learned to be Bachelor's creek. After the guns 
had been planted, orders were given to prepare for action; the guns 
were loaded and their fire directed on a block-house or fort on the 
opposite side of the creek, the outlines of which could barely be dis- 
tinguished, owing to the fog or mist. The firing was very rapid, 
solid shot and canister being used, which made it very hot for the 
Federal soldiers who held the fort. 

Finding that the enemy still held on in spite of the heavy fire, and 
would neither vacate nor surrender, a movement was made by the 
Fayette artillery which had never been attempted before during the 
war, nor was it done by this company afterward, or by any other, 
so far as has been ever known. A charge was made on this block-house 
or fort by the artillerists, they moving the guns down the incline and 
across the creek by hand, stopping occasionally to fire a shot at the 
fort and loading as they advanced. 

As the company crossed the creek and secured a position within 
about seventy-five feet of the fort, and before they could fire a shot, 
a section of artillery was driven out and started rapidly down the 
road toward New Berne. The horses of the Fayette Artillery were 
brought up, hitched to the guns as quickly as possible, and the bat- 
tery started in pursuit of the enemy, which was kept up for six miles 
ahead of the infantry. During this pursuit neither party fired a 

The horses of the Fayette Artillery having to be brought from the 
hill where the battery first went into position, and the guns having 
to be limbered up, this and the good condition of the enemy's 
horses gave the Federals great advantage over the Confederates. 
The flying section reached the junction of the railroad and country 
road running to the town several minutes ahead of the pursuers, 

292 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

went into position, fired upon us, limbered up, and fairly flew to 
New Berne, the Fayette Artillery not having a chance to reply to 
their shot. In running and chasing between the block fort and the 
railroad Sergeant-Major Robert I. Fleming, of the Fayette Bat- 
tery, succeeded in capturing Colonel Fellows and his adjutant and 

On the right of the county road and several hundred feet from the 
railroad the trees had been cut down, leaving stumps about knee 
high. In this place, with hardly room to move a gun, the command- 
ing officer of the artillery ordered the guns into battery, it having 
been learned through some source that a train was approaching 
loaded with troops destined for the town to reinforce the garrison. 

A few minutes after the guns had been placed in position the Confed- 
erate infantry came up, and, moving to the right and to the left, 
formed a line of battle near the railroad. 

The infantry had not been in battle array more than half an hour 
when the noise from the approaching train was heard. All hands 
were on the qui vive. The artillerists quickly came to their post to 
the guns, and patiently waited the turn of events. The train soon 
came into sight, and, as it got in range of the guns firing was opened 
upon it, but, being protected by an embankment, no damage, so far 
as could be seen, was done to the cars, nor were any of the soldiers 
killed or wounded. 

As the train thundered by, going at a rapid rate of speed, the 
infantry on board opened fire on the Southerners, and although the 
bullets flew thick and fast, not an artillerist or horse received a 

Just at this point it may not be out of place to say that, had the 
officer in command (as he was requested to do) permitted one or two 
of the guns to have taken up position in the road, where a fair sweep 
could have been had at the moving train, it is believed by survivors 
of that engagement that the train would never have reached New 
Berne, but would have been brought to a standstill, and the train, 
with its load of infantry, particularly the latter, brought back as 

The section of artillery from the block-fort and the train having 
got safely into the town, the next move of the Confederates was 
to make a forward movement on that place. The guns were limbered 
up and the infantry brought into column, and the forward movement 
begun. The column moved down the county road, crossed the rail- 
road, marched up a slight incline, reaching a level plateau. On the 

Fayette. Artillery. 293 

left of the road was seen a small house, from which floated the yellow 
flag, a symbol of small-pox. It is needless to say a wide berth was 
given this place by a quick movement to the right. 

Just before reaching the top of the incline a member of the Fayette 
artillery fell in with "a ward of the nation," and wishing to learn 
something, if possible, as to the status of things at or around the 
town, plied him with a few questions. 

" Good morning, old man! " 

"Good morning, boss!" 

" Do you live in these parts ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Ever been to New Berne ? " 

" Yes, sir. Boss, you'ns going to that town ? " 

" Don't know; may try it. Why do you want to know ? " 

With a smile, he replied: " You'ns can't get there." 

' ' Why not ? ' ' was asked. "Is it heavily fortified ? ' ' 

"Yes, sir," he answered. 

Being asked to describe it, from his description the questioner 
much preferred turning his face toward old Virginia, and his back 
upon the town, than to be one of the number in making the attempt 
to capture it. 

This description was as follows: "That around the town was a 
ditch fifteen feet deep, and as many, if not more, wide; that on the 
approach of an enemy, this could be quickly filled with water. The 
breastworks, which were of the most improved kind, and running 
up on a line with the inside of the ditch, were mounted with heavy 
pieces of ordnance. Not being supplied with necessary appliances 
for crossing such a ditch, or scaling such a wall of sand, it was well 
known that, even though the breastworks might be reached, and the 
soldiery get into the ditch, there was not a scintilla of hope for their 
escape. Therefore, was it wonderful that the men, on learning such 
a state of affairs, much preferred turning back than advancing ? " 

It was not known whether the old darkey told the truth or not; 
but, however that may be, before the Confederates could get in full 
view of the town, a puff of smoke was seen to rise, and ere the 
sound of the gun reached the ears of the soldiers a heavy shot 
whizzed over their heads, the same seeming to warn the boys in gray 
not to approach any nearer. 

And they didn't either. There was a sudden halt, and not many 
minutes elapsed when the command to countermarch was given, the 
Southern soldiers retraced their steps, recrossed the railroad, and 

294 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

went into camp among the stumps which they had left but a short 
while ago. Remarkable as it may seem, yet nevertheless it is true, 
that while they remained in that section they were not molested or 
harassed by the enemy. 

As night approached there was a heavy guard mounted around 
the camp, and the men, feeling perfectly secure, wrapped themselves 
in their blankets, stretched themselves out on old Mother Earth, and 
soon fell asleep and enjoyed that which was so much needed to the 
body, a night of refreshing slumber. The camp was aroused early 
the next morning, and the men being greatly refreshed from the 
labor and fatigue of the day before, started in to prepare their break- 
fast from such stores as were provided by the commissary department. 

During the morning the general commanding had learned from 
some source that at a block-house at the junction of the Washing 
and New Berne roads, a place called Beech Grove, there was a sec- 
tion of artillery, and the Confederates being between them and New 
Berne, there was no chance for them to get to that town. Here an 
opportunity presented itself to get something as a trophy, beyond 
the capture of Colonel Fellows, his Adjutant, and his orderly, for the 
trip to that section. And it will be noted further on, that it was 
something beyond the ordinary, the extraordinary, that took place, 
and which was not down on the programme. 

The general commanding was determined to have that section of 
the artillery, and to that end orders were hastily given to the Fayette 
Artillery, Stribling's Battery, and the 30th Virginia regiment of in- 
fantry, to prepare to march. In a short time all was in readiness, 
and the commands moved. The march was in a different direction, 
and on a different road from that which they had moved in on the 
day before. Having covered but a short distance from the camp, 
the infantry was directed to take the woods on the right and left of 
the road, while the artillery was compelled to traverse that thorough- 
fare. After marching several miles, the artillery reached an open 
country on the right, which proved to be a very large farm. There 
was a large farm house, and to reach this they had to march down a 
wide lawn. Before the turn into this lawn was made, ahead of them 
was seen a fort; soldiers were observed walking about in it, and, as 
the Fayette Artillery turned to the right, driving down the lawn just 
mentioned, with their broadside to the fort, men were seen to rush 
to the guns in the fort, and it was then realized that an enemy was 
in sight. As the Fayette Artillery drove through the lawn, not a 

Fayette Artillery. 295 

shot was fired from the fort, and we continued on, finally reaching 
the field, and obtaining a strategic position. 


Before a gun could be fired, however, a man was seen to emerge 
from the fort, bearing aloft a flag of truce. Lieutenant Clopton and 
Sergeant- Major Fleming went out to meet the bearer of the flag, 
quickly followed by several non-commissioned officers and privates. 
On our men's reaching the fort, the officer in command made a for- 
mal surrender. The main stipulation (verbal, and being agreed to 
verbally) was that the officers should retain their side-arms. 

In a conversation with one of the Federal artillerists he was asked: 

"Why did you not fire on that artillery company as it drove 
through the lawn ? ' ' 

"We were preparing to fire," he answered; "but really did not 
know what to do." 

' ' Why was that ? " he was asked. 

" Well, we thought it might be men coming to relieve us." 

' ' But don' t you think they took a peculiar route to reach the fort ? ' ' 
he was asked. 

" True; but we did not realize that fact until it was too late." 

" But did you not note the red caps worn by the men ? " was the 
rejoinder. (Some of the Fayette Company wore red caps.) 

To which he replied: " Yes; we noticed the red caps, but some of 
our men had got to wear them, and other caps, as well." 

After the articles of surrender had been agreed to, Lieutenant 
Clopton commanded members of his company who were present to 
mount the horses and drive the captured guns to camp, and there 
were no members of that company prouder than these. The guns — 
3 inch steel rifles — a few days afterward were presented to the com- 
pany by General George E. Pickett, and they were held on to until 
after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee, at Appomattox, when 
they were spiked and cut down just across the river at Lynchburg, 
on the Staunton road. 

Not long after the fort surrendered, about half a dozen of the in- 
fantry performed a daring and hazardous feat, which probably was 
not excelled during the war. They were out in the woods and ran 
out to a company of the boys in blue. It was no time to show the 
white feather, and our boys became as brave and fearless as Caesars. 
One of them ordered the company to ground arms and surrender, 
at the same time giving orders to some one unseen, to tell Captain 

296 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

to order up Company A at once. The blue-coats quickly 

grounded their arms, and surrendered to these six men. The or- 
derly sergeant also gave up his book, and on examining it, it was 
found out that some of these men were deserters from the Confeder- 
ate army, the roll-book showing the name of the company and 
regiment to which they belonged, the date of their desertion, and of 
their enlistment in the Federal service. 

Now the Confederates had pillaged the block fort and secured 
blue coats and tall hats worn by the Federals, and they had the ap- 
pearace of being Yankees, for there was no difference in the uniform 
they had on and that worn by their prisoners. They were tramping 
down the road toward the camp, while General Corse and staff were 
riding toward the fort. The two parties soon came into full view of 
each other, and the General remarked: "We are in for it now." 
He believed that he had ridden right into the hands of the enemy, 
and there was nothing to do but surrender. 

The Confederate guard seemed to note the disturbed condition of 
the General, for they assured him they were friends. 

' ' Who are you ? " he asked. 

"We are Southerners, General, with prisoners." 

" What are you doing with that blue uniform on ? " he asked. 

" We captured it at the fort," they answered. 

" Get to the camp," said the General, " and as soon as you reach 
there take it off." 

The General and staff turned and went back with the guard and 
their prisoners, which reassured the Confederates, for they trembled 
lest the prisoners should suddenly turn on them, wrest their guns 
from their hands, make the guards prisoners, and then make their 
way to New Berne through the woods. 

The next day found the infantry and artillery on their return 
march, arriving safely at Kinston, where a stop was made for some 
time, as a serious business demanded the attention of the general 
officer, General Pickett having assumed command. 


A week or two after the army's arrival at Kinston, a court-martial 
was convened to try the deserters, and the verdict was they should 
be hung. The jail was near the Neuse river, and back of it lay a 
flat country. On this plateau was erected a large scaffold of rude 
material, and around it was built a platform with triggers, with ropes 
attached. The fatal day arrived, the military was marched to the 

Judah P. Benjamin. 297 

scaffold, and men detailed to pull the ropes and thus spring the trig- 
gers. Twenty-five men were placed on the platform at one time, the 
noose adjusted around their necks, their heads covered with corn 
sacks in lieu of the black caps, which could not be obtained, the 
command given, the ropes were pulled, the triggers sprung, and 
twenty-five men launched into eternity. This was followed later by 
five other executions, and then two, the latter being brothers, of the 
same build and stature, about six feet tall and well-built. They were 
baptized in the Neuse river, taken to the jail to change their cloth- 
ing, and from thence to the scaffold, where they paid the penalty of 
cruel war's demand. 

After all this was over, back to old Virginia was the command, 
and the arrival was made in time. 


Sketch of the Life of this Remarkable Man. 


An Anecdote of Him Told by Dr. Hoge — His Capacity for Hard Work. 
His Flight from Richmond at the Close of the War. 

(H. T. Ezekiel in the Jeiuish South, December, 1897.) 

One of if not the most unique personage connected with the gov- 
ernment of the Southern Confederacy was Judah P. Benjamin, a 
Jew, as signified by his name. 

Although this gentleman was one of the foremost lawyers of his 
day, a prominent United States Senator, at various times Attorney- 
General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State of the Confed- 
eracy, and more latterly a Queen's Counsel in England, no history 
of his life has as yet been written. Such a work is now in course of 
preparation in England, and it was a request for data in connection 
therewith that led in part to the writing of this sketch. 

Judah Phillips Benjamin was the son of English parents, and was 
born in 181 1. His mother and father were on their way from Eng- 
land to New Orleans. Arriving off the mouth of the Mississippi 
river, it was found to be blockaded by British men-of-war, so their ves- 

298 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

sel turned back and put in at St. Croix. Here it was, on English 
soil, that young Benjamin first saw the light of day. 

In 1815 the Benjamins moved to Wilmington, N. C, and ten 
years later, when only a lad of fourteen, Judah was sent to Yale. 
He remained there only three years, and left before taking his 
degree. Upon attaining his majority he was admitted to practice at 
the bar in New Orleans, and soon forged his way to the front. In 
1847 he was engaged as counsel in the famous Spanish land cases, 
which involved the .ownership of immense properties in California. 
For his legal services in this controversy he received the largest fee 
on record at that time, $25,000. 

Mr. Benjamin in 1852 was sent to the United States Senate from 
Louisiana, and five years later he was re-elected. His colleague was 
Mr. Slidell, who afterward figured so prominently in the Trent affair. 
It was during this time that he was tendered a position on the bench 
of the Supreme Court of the United States, by President Franklin 
Pierce, an offer which was declined, he preferring to devote his time 
to private practice — for be it understood that "Mr. Benjamin, of 
Louisiana," stood second to no lawyer in the land. 

In the Senate he was among the foremost, and Charles Sumner, 
whom he often opposed in debate, declared that Mr. Benjamin was 
the most eloquent speaker to whom he ever listened. The stormy 
days of '61 came on, and he, with the other Southern Senators, with- 
drew from lhat body. His farewell address occupied two days in its 
delivery, and was admitted by all to be the most eloquent and forci- 
ble effort on either side. It was in the main a demonstration of the 
legality of States' rights. 


When the provisional government was formed at Montgomery, 
President Davis selected Mr. Benjamin as his Attorney-General. 
Upon the consummation of the Confederacy he was made Secretary 
of War, and later on, Secretary of State. An idea of the versatility 
and erudition of this genius, may be formed from the fact that he 
filled these three Cabinet positions to the satisfaction of the President 
and with credit to himself. Mr. Benjamin was commonly referred to 
as "the brains of the Confederacy," and it was a universal custom 
of President Davis's to turn over to him every matter that belonged 
to no particular department. So numerous were his duties; and so 
great his capacity for work, that it was not unusual for him to remain 
steadily at his desk from 8 A. M. one day, until 1 or 2 o'clock the 

Judah P. Benjamin. 299 

next morning. In August, 1862, owing to overwork and some fric- 
tion with others, he resigned, but not long afterwards President 
Davis insisted on his returning to the Cabinet. As much of the 
business of the Confederate Congress was transacted in secret, no 
great deal is known of its workings, but it is claimed by those ac- 
quainted with its inner affairs, that the greater portion of its impor- 
tant legislation was framed by Mr. Benjamin. 


An act performed in 1862 shows the true patriotism of the man. 
General Huger was in command of Roanoke Island and Mr. Benja- 
min was filling the post of Secretary of War. A requisition for 
powder was made and was not filled. This was twice repeated with- 
out avail, and Roanoke Island fell. An investigation was ordered 
by Congress, and it took but a few seconds for the Secretary to in- 
form the committee that the powder had not been forthcoming for 
the best of reasons — there was none to send. The question then 
arose as to what might be the probable effect upon Congress and the 
people in general of this disclosure of the Confederacy's limited re- 
sources. It was decided that this would never do, and the commit- 
tee was in a quandary. At Mr. Benjamin's own suggestion the com- 
mittee recommended that he be censured by Congress for neglect of 
duty. History contains no parallel of such patriotism. 


Mr. Benjamin evidently did not accompany the presidential party 
from Richmond to Danville on the fateful April 2, 1865, for on the 
following day he was met in the streets of the latter city by Rev. 
Dr. Hoge, of Richmond, who, after questioning him closely, learned 
that he, unlike the remainder of President Davis' Cabinet, was not 
the guest of Major Sutherlin. Being hard pressed by the reverend 
gentleman, Mr. Benjamin reluctantly admitted that he had, owing to 
the crowded condition of the city, been unable to secure board. 
(Dr. Hoge, in answer to a query, assures me that this was simply 
an accident and was in nowise attributable to race prejudice.) The 
clergyman, who was a great friend of Mr. Benjamin's, insisted that 
the latter should accompany him to his abode and share his apart- 
ments with him. This the Secretary refused to do, saying that Dr. 
Hoge's hostess was a stranger to him, and that it would be an un- 
warranted impertinence for him to intrude upon the family uninvited. 
Dr. Hoge allayed his fears after some argument, assuring Mr. Ben- 

300 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

jamin that any friend of his would be more than welcome to the 

The following- Sunday Mr. Benjamin gave an exhibition of his ad- 
mirable tact, which can best be described in the words of Dr. Hoge: 

"At the breakfast table the conversation turned to the subject of 
church services, and Mr. Benjamin inquired casually of our hostess 
where she was going to worship that day. Now, I happened to know 
that as a member of Mr. Davis' Cabinet, official etiquette demanded 
that he should accompany his chief to his (the Episcopal) church, 
and when our hostess replied, in a tone that almost implied an invi- 
tation, ' We are going to the Presbyterian Church to hear Dr. Hoge 
preach,' I wondered what Mr. Benjamin would do. He never hesi- 
tated a moment, but in his most affable manner asked: " May I have 
the pleasure of accompaning you ? ' " 

lee's surrender. 

After church the party was sitting in the parlor chatting when Mr. 
Benjamin, who had been called away, entered the room, and, after 
conversing nonchalantly for a short time, beckoned Dr. Hoge to follow 
him to their chamber. When they were there Mr. Benjamin said: 
" Dr. Hoge, I didn't have the heart to tell you before these ladies, 
something I want to communicate to you." He then went on to say 
that General Lee had surrendered. Mr. Benjamin's face never re- 
vealed what he suffered, "but," said Dr. Hoge in relating the 
incident, "I could not refrain from sitting down on the bed and 
weeping, a habit to which I am not addicted." 

When Mr. Benjamin set out on his trip southward from Danville 
shortly after this, he was asked by Dr. Hoge if he was not afraid of 
being captured. With a significant smile, he replied: " I shall never 
be taken alive." Mr. Benjamin remained with the presidential cav- 
alcade until it reached Georgia, when he separated from his com- 
panions. Up to that time he had passed as a French military officer, 
having a passport in that language, which he spoke like a native. 
He rode a very tall horse, purchased in South Carolina, and said to 
be one of the finest in that State. When he left President Davis' 
party he purchased a cart and horse, and, disguised as a pedler, 
wearing immense green goggles, he worked his way toward the 
coast. On one occasion he stopped over night with a gentleman 
who was acquainted with and who recognized him despite his dis- 
guise. Being the soul of politeness, the host made no sign to show 
that he had penetrated the incognito of his guest, and that it was 

Judah P. Benjamin. 301 

not until the morning, when in bidding him farewell, he unwittingly 
remarked, " Good-by, Mr. Benjamin," that the true state of affairs 
was exposed. 


Eventually he made his way to the Florida coast, embarked in an 
open boat for the West Indies, and after a series of adventures, 
which would, in themselves, make a readable book, he landed in 
England. In a short time he applied for admission to the bar, and 
on his setting up the claim that he was an Englishman, having been 
born fifty-five years before on British soil, the three years' study re- 
quired of aliens by law was dispensed with, and he was at once 
admitted to practice. 

Before long his attainments won recognition on every side, and he 
was made a queen's counsellor. It was while serving in this capacity 
that Mr. Benjamin did what no other man ever did before, and, prob- 
ably never will do again — he rebuked the House of Lords. He was 
arguing a case before that august body, when a member — supposed 
to be Lord Cairns — ejaculated the single word, " Nonsense! " Mr. 
Benjamin never moved a muscle, but ceased reading, folded up his 
brief, and left the hall. The Lords at once sent him an apology, 
upon which he allowed his junior assistant to return and complete 
the reading of the argument. 

While practicing in the English courts, Mr. Benjamin gave 
further proof of his manliness and independence. He had occasion 
to appear before a judge who was notorious for the discourteous 
manner in which he treated those lawyers who were so unfortunate 
as to have dealings with him, and who really stood in dread of him. 
Mr. Benjamin had only begun his argument, when the judge in- 
formed him quite abruptly that it was useless for him to proceed, as 
his mind was already made up. "Your Honor," hotly replied the 
ex-Confederate, "you, of course, can refuse to hear me argue this 
case, but I wish to tell you this — that never again will I condescend 
to appear in your court." The judge was so surprised that any bar- 
rister was bold enough to defy him, that he was at first unable to 
reply; but, in a moment, he realized that Mr. Benjamin was right, 
came down from the bench, took him by the hand, apologized, and 
begged him to proceed, which he did, winning the case. The next 
week, Mr. Benjamin was tendered a banquet for his temerity, by the 
leading members of the English bar. 

302 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


It was estimated that Mr. Benjamin enjoyed an income of $75,000 
a year from his English practice, and at his death he left a fortune of 
$300,000 to two relatives in New Orleans. He died in Paris in 1884. 

In person Mr. Benjamin was rather short, heavy set, with square 
shoulders, and was inclined toward corpulency. His face was typ- 
ically Jewish, the short black beard he wore helping to intensify it. 
His ability to sway an audience by his eloquence was nothing short 
of marvellous. When in Richmond he resided on Main street, be- 
tween Fourth and Fifth. He invariably wore the most immaculate 
of linen, was always cheerful and affable, and never traveled without 
a copy of Tennyson, and, strange to say, was also an ardent ad- 
mirer of Horace. 

Mr. Benjamin was the author of a number of works, mostly of a 
legal character, and his "Benjamin on Sales" is to-day a leading 
standard authority. 

Judah P. Benjamin was a man among men. 

The Private Soldier of the C. S. Army, and as Exemplified 
by the Representation from North Carolina. 

An Address by Hon. R. T. BENNETT, Late Colonel 14th North Caro- 
lina Infantry, C. S. A. 


Ladies' Memorial Association at Raleigh, N. C, May 10, 1897. 

Madam President, Ladies of the Memorial Association, My Coun- 
trymen : 

Every people has its heroes — of these heroes some are enshrined 
as champions of human liberty. 

There are many elevations between the level of the plain and the 
height of Parnassus. 

From the outbreak of the war between the Government and the 
Confederate States until Palm Sunday, in 1865, when the unpower- 
fnl regiments of the Army of Northern Virginia lowered their ban- 
ners and dispersed to find ruined homes and a country girded with 
sackcloth and sprinkled with ashes, the United States employed 

The Private Soldier of the C. S. Army. 303 

1,700 regiments of infantry, 270 regiments of cavalry and 900 bat- 
teries of artillery, an estimated total in excess of 2,600,000 men. 
Against this force the Confederacy opposed a total of all arms of the 
service computed at 600,000 men. 

Of these, North Carolina organized and furnished the Confed- 
eracy more than sixty regiments of infantry, six regiments of cavalry, 
three regiments of artillery, besides half a score of battalions and 
other commands. 

The force so furnished is placed by thoughtful, accurate and pains- 
taking men at 115,000. It is impossible in the present ill-assorted 
state of our information to give the exact number of these soldiers. 

Amidst the inspiring surroundings of this place, this time and oc- 
casion, we reverently assume the task of doing some measure of jus- 
tice to the private soldiers whom North Carolina, under a sense of 
the appalling conflict at hand, and a deeper sense of duty to her 
neighbors, herself, and the right, summoned to her standards, for- 
warded with her blessing, and now, after the fierce pang of battle is 
over, in spite of humiliation, poverty and anguish, honors and loves 
from the deep bottom of her great motherly heart. 

It is fitting that we should call the roll of these men. That we 
should inquire why so many of them have not come back from the 
direction in which their faces were so resolutely set, why they linger 
on the homeward march. In what ditch they perished. In what 
tempestuous onset of battle they went down to death. 

The sons and grandsons, the daughters and granddaughters, of 
these citizen soldiers should come together at stated periods — now or 
in the autumn after the vintage is over, and the declining year is has- 
tening to its close, and rehearse their services, their sacrifices, their 
valorous actions, their sense of duty, their patient obedience, and 
their humble faith in God. 

Human courage has wrought trophies on every considerable the- 
atre of its actions. 

The four years of war were punctuated by 2,265 conflicts, counting 
great and small of every sort, including 625 considerable fights, and 
330 battles. 

Into these trials of strength, the soldiers of North Carolina clove 
their way with sword and bayonet, with gun and cannon, and came 
off with good report. 

The people of those Southern States which were completely iden- 
tified with the Confederacy during the late war, possessed many 

304 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

characteristics in common — descended as they were from ances- 
tors who sprang from the Anglo-Saxon nurseries, they inherited the 
same laws, the same literature, the same traditions of civil and polit- 
ical liberty and a like inborn sense of religion. Their pursuits bore 
a striking similitude the South over — agriculture was their chiefest 
vocation. It sustained a most unusually large proportion to all other 
engagements of the population. 

They were a pure bred people. Local influences gave a variety 
and coloring here and there. North Carolina, from earliest days of 
its tutelage, had been conservative. 

In the period immediately preceding the war of the Colonies 
against Great Britain, North Carolina behaved with much reserve. 
She positively refused for a time to adopt the Articles of Confedera- 
tion, and Botta, who has written the most instructive history of the 
war of Independence, says: "She was often excepted from the 
orders in council which the government of Great Britain denounced 
against the other colonies." In this particular North Carolina in 
sentiment shared the attitude of New York more nearly than any 
other colony. 

Unaffectedly modest, the State has lost beyond reparation in 
divers ways. She has but recently awakened under the importuni- 
ties of her patriotic women to her combined duty and advantage of 
monuments to her uncounted dead. 

The French are perhaps the most civilized people in Europe. In 
France no unselfish and meritorious act of public service, whether 
done by artisan or caste, fails to command expressive recognition in 
brass or stone or canvass. 

There is an unpretending shaft in one of the northwestern States 
erected to the memory of a school-boy, who at the early age of 
twelve, died under the lash rather than tell an untruth. 

The people of North Carolina, while liable, like others, to bursts 
of vehement impatience, in their normal mood delight to see justice 
clothed " in orderly forms, unstained by precipitation or suspicion of 
perversion, advancing to its ends with the majesty of law without 
unseemly haste, proving things honest in the sight of all men." 

Some men have rendered such transcendent and brilliant service 
that the genius of history in compassion upon the multitude has 
shadowed their performance. 

The philosopher, in dealing with causes, would be greatly amiss if 
he omitted to reckon with impulses which drive our race to explore 

The Private Soldier of the C. S. Army. 305 

now its origin, then the advances of our people from one stage of 
development to another, culminating in the most careful scrutiny 
into individual character and genealogy. 

The youth, manhood and age, who, in 1861, in a steady column 
of march, presented themselves representatives of every house, 
household and altar in our State, were born in these surroundings, 
amidst these traditions. 

They were brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 
They had a well grounded faith in our precious Creator and in His 
Word. " Their good limbs were grown in North Carolina." 

Cromwell, writing after one of the reverses which befell the arms 
of the Parliament early in the struggle with the King, said: "We 
need men of religion to fight with men of honor." 

Receiving at the hands of the proper officials their company and 
regimental assignments, these men selected by their free votes their 
captains, lieutenants and ensigns; these were their neighbors and 
equals at home. Capable men, worthy of the trust and confidence 
of the companies, and these company officers in turn chose by their 
votes the colonels, lieutenant-colonels and majors of the regiments. 

The field officers of the ten regiments known as State troops, 
were appointed and were commissioned by the Governor at the be- 
ginning of their service. 

And now these companies and regiments began the exercises and 
duties in camp, on guard and on the march, which at length hard- 
ened them into veterans, and rendered them among the toughest 
soldiers who ever did battle in any cause. The men proved obe- 
dient to discipline and orders. Company and regimental government 
was more due to the personal influence and example of the officers 
and non-commissioned officers, to the reciprocal esteem of private 
soldiers and their immediate superiors in rank for each other than to 
"The Article of War" and to the army regulations. 

The greater the fool the better the soldier has been ascribed to the 
Duke of Wellington. It is a perverse saying contradicted by the 
experience of our war. 

I heard a venerable man caution a youth, who was given to indis- 
cretions, against the first wrong steps in life. The after weight of 
such false start. 

Never were soldiers more helped by fortune in their first hostile 
meeting with the enemy, than was the 1st regiment of North Caro- 
lina in its baptism of blood at Bethel. You have commemorated in 

306 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

deep letters cut away down into the stone body of the monument, 
which stands sentinel by day and by night at the west gate of your 
beautiful Capitol Square, the courage and daring of this command 
on that day. In a public building overlooking the same square, is a 
presentment of the youth who perished there. His name I am for- 
bidden to utter to-day in these exercises, as thousands of others 
equally brave, equally deserving to be named here, might challenge 
the record as incomplete, since it spoke less than the whole truth. 
Bethel was the private soldiers' fight and victory. In the years of 
war which followed this splendid exhibition of bravery, the soldiers 
of North Carolina acquitted themselves in noble fashion and achieved 
imperishable renown. 

Good tempered and calm, they were self- restrained — obedient to 
those in authority, not given to complaining, not exacting of those 
who were set over them. They fought well, meanwhile they were 
perfected in all the requirements of the service. 

They attained precision of movement, rapidity in covering ground, 
capacity to endure fatigue and an excellence in sustaining long 
marches which was the admiration of the army. 

The greatest accomplishment in soldiers next to courage, is a high 
power of locomotion. 

When Alexander the Great complained of his illustrious master 
for having exposed philosophy to the knowledge of the vulgar, he 
uttered a sentiment common to antiquity, and in complete unison 
with the spirit of his age. 

The murmuring multitude have during a hundred years invaded 
the domain of exclusive rights. Exclusion is doomed. The people 
have conquered. Education which in its complete analysis is the 
knowleelge of the world's past, its storied past, the achievements and 
resources of its civilization, its advances and recessions, its toilsome 
climb is now as completely the birth-right of the citizen as is personal 
security, personal liberty and private property. 

To the full and equal participation of the people of our State in 
all the rights and privileges which constitutions and statutes assure 
to the citizen is due in a measure the unanimous decision in 1861 to 
make common cause with the South, and the heroic determination 
with which that decision was upheld. 

When the true and faithful account of the war is written, there 
will be accorded to the private soldier of North Carolina a full share 

The Private Soldier of the C. S. Army. 307 

of every enduring virtue, great quality, persistent courage which has 
distinguished soldiers since history emerged from fable. 

The limitations imposed upon us by the proprieties of this occa- 
sion will not be overstepped if we say these soldiers rose to their 
highest and most honorable estate perhaps in the campaign which 
began in the tangled forest near the Rapidan in the early days of 
May, 1864. The sweet breath of the wind came up from the de- 
serted chambers of the South. The soldiers by their experience and 
sound sense penetrated through all disguise, all strategy — they knew 
the supreme moment had come — that supreme moment with all its 
agony and strain, and blood was drawn out full three months. Never 
was the peril of an army more constant, never marched nor fought 
nor slept nor hungered nor prayed men in arms to whom disaster 
might prove more irreparable. The private soldiers were conscious 
of all this while it was passing. 

Never did the rank and file of an army hold a heavier share in the 
anxieties, the "fearful looking for" of their commanders. 

There are occasions in the experience of regiments, brigades and 
armies, when they rise superior to themselves, when the enemy, 
astounded by their audacity, stand at attention and applaud the on- 
coming host. 

In that epic campaign, Gideon, Sampson, Barak and David were 

Once in the supreme crisis of a great battle, when the earth trem- 
bled like a heated oven, and the battalion hesitated, a private soldier 
of well earned renown, appealed to them to go forward and strike 
home for their cause. Persisting in his appeal, he said: " They that 
love God go forward. ' ' 

Every human virtue was repeated during that struggle. 

The glimpse mercifully given us of the Chevalier Bayard constitu- 
ting the rear guard of his army, done to death by a great stone — 
urging his squire to take care of his life for the morrow, receiving 
the last rites of our Holy Religion at the hands of his courier, was 
equalled and equalled again by ragged North Carolina privates. 

The zeal which impelled the men of the Crusades in their mission 
to redeem the Holy Sepulchre, was not more fiery than the Divine 
intoxication which moved the spirits of our soldiery. 

If in the midst of war these men wrought well, how shall we por- 
tray them since peace, troubled peace, came back to our distracted 

308 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

" In every peril, in every tumultuous assembly 
They have demanded the regular order, 
And striven to repair the ravages 

Inflicted by the cruel surgery of war." 

The Band of Patriots who made the first resistance to that con- 
struction of the Constitution of the United States, and the laws 
thereunder, which would exalt the powers of the general government 
and restrain the powers of the State, understood well what was in- 
volved in the issue. Upon this issue and upon the unseen foundation 
beneath it, the war was fought. 

We lost. Philosophers do not repine over the inevitable. They 
are content after acting well their parts, to submit to the will of God. 

When the Governor of Mississippi was arrested in the executive 
office, on a warrant issued by a United States Commissioner, who held 
his appointment at the hands of a Federal Judge — the Revolution 
was complete. 

Charles Dickens in one of those pathetic creations in the domain 
of romance, the delight of his contemporaries and the admiration of 
this age, represents the early Christians as escaping from their per- 
secutors into the Catacombs of Rome. Their hiding place having 
been discovered, the cruel soldiery murder the fathers and mothers 
in the presence of their children, who in the transports of feeling, 
rush towards the murderers, crying aloud: 

" We are Christians." 

Those of us who in our very hearts believed in the justice of the 
cause for which our comrades less fortunate but more happy than 
ourselves perished, though abandoned by hope, are Confederates 

The memory of those days grows more tender year upon year. 

My countrymen preserve the scraps. Gather up the fragments 
that nothing be lost. 

Incidents of General T. J. Jackson. 309 

[From the Richmond, Va., Times, January 23, 1898.] 


Incidents in the Remarkable Career of the Great Soldier. 


He Made a Poor Impression When he First Arrived at West Point — A 
Second in a Duel — He Obeyed Orders at Great Cost. 

Men will never cease to wonder at the character and history of 
General Thomas Jonathan Jackson. No other man in history can 
be likened to him. He has oftener been compared with Oliver Crom- 
well than with any other great soldier. But Cromwell was a great 
statesman, who ruled his people with far-reaching wisdom. We 
have no evidence that Jackson can be likened to Cromwell in this, 
but would be inclined to pronounce Jackson a warrior, pure and 
simple, devoid of any great strategic capacity, as he seemed to be of 
good fellowship, humorous inclinations or any degree of tenderness. 

Four years of incarceration together at West Point and subsequent 
service together in the armies of the United States and Confederate 
States gave me as good opportunities of estimating the mind and 
the nature of Stonewall Jackson as any man has ever enjoyed. I 
believe Jackson was as fond of me as he ever was of any man of our 
times. It was for his wife to waken and nurture, and since his death 
to disclose to the world the deep tenderness of that wonderful char- 
acter, a tenderness never before suspected by any human being to 

In the life and letters of Stonewall Jackson, published by her, are 
revelations of affectionate gentleness unknown to any but to her. 
The world owes her untold gratitude for this work, so beautifully 
accomplished that it will be a classic as long as the English language 
shall be known. 


I entered the Military Academy at West Point in June, 1842. A 
week afterwards a cadet sergeant passed, escorting a newly-arrived 
cadet to his quarters. The personal appearance of the stranger was 
so remarkable as to attract the attention of several of us, who were 

310 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

standing near and chatting together. Burkett Fry, A. P. Hill, and 
George Pickett, all Virginians, and destined to be distinguished gen- 
erals, made our group. The new cadet was clad in gray homespun, 
a waggoner's hat, and large, heavy brogans; weather-stained saddle- 
bags were over his shoulders. His sturdy step, cold, bright gray 
eye, thin, firm lips, caused me say, " That fellow looks as if he had 
come to stay," and on the return of the sergeant I asked him who 
that cadet was. He replied: "Cadet Jackson, of Virginia." 
Whereupon I at once ascended to his room to show him my interest 
in him, a fellow-countryman in a strange land. He received my 
courteous advances in a manner so chilling that it caused me to re- 
gret having made them, and I rejoined my companions with criticisms 
brief and emphatic as to his intellectual endowments. Days and 
weeks went by, with no change in the "snap-shot" estimate then 

One evening, Fry and Hill and I were lolling upon our camp bed- 
ding, the evening police were going on, and " Cadet Jackson, from 
Virginia," was upon duty about our tent, when I, desirous again to 
be affable and playful with our countryman, lifted the tent wall, and 
addressed him with an air of authority, and mock sternness, order- 
ing him to be more attentive to his duty, to remove those cigar 
stumps, and otherwise mind his business. His reply was a look so 
stern and angry as to let me know that he was doing that job. 
Whereupon, I let that tent wall drop and became intensely interested 
in my yellow-back novel. So soon as police was over I arose and 
girded my loins, saying I had made Cadet Jackson, of Virginia, an- 
gry, and must at once humble myself and explain that I was not 
really in command of that police detail. I found him at the guard 
tent, called him out, and said: 

" Mr. Jackson, I find that I made a mistake just now in speaking 
to you in a playful manner — not justified by our slight acquaintance. 
I regret that I did so." 

He replied, with his stony look, "That is perfectly satisfactory, 
sir." Whereupon I returned to my comrades, and informed them 
that, in my opinion, "Cadet Jackson, from Virginia, is a jackass," 
which verdict was unanimously concurred in; and we all with one 
accord began to array ourselves for the next duty in order, and 
thenceforward nobody in that tent " projected " with that cadet until 
our four-years' course was ended, and we were emancipated from the 
military prison of West Point, for we all liked and respected him. 

Incidents of General T. J. Jackson. 311 

After our encampment of two months was over we went into bar- 
racks and were arranged in sections alphabetically, and thus it was 
McClellan and I sat side by side; for a very brief space, though. 
Next week he went up till he became head, while I remained tutisi- 
mus in medio for four blessed years. I was very sorry to lose Mac. 
from my side, especially during recitations, for he used to tell me 
things, and was a great help; besides he was such a little bred and 
born gentleman, only fifteen years and seven months, while I — God 
save the mark — was twenty. 

"old jack" as a student. 

"Old Jack," as we called him, hung about the bottom, at the 
first January examination all below him were cut off, he was foot and 
probably would have been cut off also, but his teachers observed in 
him such a determined intention to succeed that they felt sure he 
would certainly improve — and he did. 

Our rooms were small, each with two single bedsteads (iron), a 
bare, cold floor, and an anthracite grate. " Old Jack." a few min- 
utes before taps, would pile his grate with coal, so as to have a 
bright, glowing fire when taps sounded and all other lights were out. 

Then he would lie prone upon the floor, when the light enabled 
him to study the lesson for the day, and very soon he began to rise 
in his class, and we all were glad of his success; for cold and undem- 
onstrative as he was, he was absolutely honest and kindly, intensely 
attending to his own business, and as it was, he came to be near the 
head of our class, the largest that had ever graduated there. We 
had altogether 164 members — counting those turned back into it; 
we graduated sixty after four weary, profitless years (to me). 

Then Cadmus Wilcox, Archie Botts, "Dominie" Wilson and 
"Old Jack," as we now called Jackson of Virginia, traveled on 
together to their Virginia homes, and arriving in Washington, took 
a room in Brown's Hotel. All four were in one room, and it was 
blazing hot, for they were right under the roof. Cadmus, on reach- 
ing the capital of the nation, was invited to spend the evening with 
the Secretary of War, and did not return to his room until about 1 
o'clock A. M. He paused; the door was locked, and the sounds of 
boisterous revelry were roaring within. 

For some time he demanded entrance in vain, and when at last 
admitted found "High Jinks" were enacting there. Poor Archie, 
in his fine new uniform, lay slumbering upon a bed, while Dominie 

312 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

and " Old Jack," with only one garment, were singing with stunning 
effect "Benny Hahn's Oh," and executing a barefooted back -step 
in time to the music. Each composed his own poetry, in tones 
which resounded through the house and over the Avenue, till old 
Mr. Jesse Brown sent his compliments, with a request that they 
"would stop that noise." This was "Old Jack's" first and last 
frolic, to which in years long after his fame had filled the world he 
dimly alluded, when he said he was too fond of liquor to trust him- 
self to drink it. 

As for poor Dominie, his long pent craving was never slaked any 
more until his enfeebled frame was laid to rest in a soldier's grave, 
away off in the shadow of the Rockies. 


From the moment that Jackson entered upon his duties in the 
army, he evinced that terrible earnestness which was the character- 
istic of his conduct in battle or in work. 

My squadron of the Mounted Rifles escorted four siege-pieces, 
which he was charged to deliver safely in Monterey, and he did it 
with an unrelenting energy which was necessary to get them through. 
During the battles in the Valley, he served as a lieutenant of Ma- 
gruder's battery, and won many distinctions. Having entered the 
service as a second lieutenant, he was brevetted first lieutenant, cap- 
tain and major, in one year's field service. 

While serving in the Valley of Mexico, he acted as second in a 
duel between two officers of one of the new infantry regiments— the 
10th, I believe. General Birkett Fry told me the incident, as fol- 

Lieutenant Lee, of Virginia, was the adjutant of the regiment, 

who, feeling himself aggrieved by Captain , of Philadelphia, 

sent him a challenge. The Captain was an avowed duelist and an 
expert rifle shot, and accepted Lee's challenge. They were to fight 
with rifles at forty paces. Jackson and Fry were seconds to Lee. 
Jackson won the word, which he delivered, standing in the position 
of a soldier, in stentorian tones, audible over a forty-acre lot. The 
rifles cracked together, and Jackson, astounded that his man was 
still standing, said to Fry: " What shall we do now? They will de- 
mand another shot." " We will grant it with pistols at ten paces," 
said Fry, and as he said, the second of the Captain came forward 

Incidents of General T. J. Jackson. 313 

and demanded another shot. " We agree," said Jackson, " and we 
will fight with pistols at ten paces." The Captain declined the 
terms, the men were never reconciled. The Captain died many 
years after, regretting that he had not killed Lee. 

Jackson was a strict constructionist of all orders and of all points 
of duty. 


When John Brown made his attempt to arouse insurrection in 
Virginia, Governor Wise called out the troops, of the State, and 
ordered the Corps of Cadets to be held ready for immediate service. 
General Smith, superintendent of the corps, promptly obeyed the 
orders. Major Jackson reported at the guard-room ready for the 
field. General Smith, after giving attention to some matters requir- 
ing it, said: " Major Jackson, you will remain as you are till further 
orders." At that moment Major Jackson was seated upon a camp- 
stool in the guard-room with his sabre across his knees. 

Next morning at reveille General Smith repaired to the guard- 
room and found Jackson sitting on the camp-stool and said: 

" Why, Major, why -are you here ? " 

" Because you ordered me to remain here as I was last night, and 
I have done so." * 

Next year he went off to the great war between the States, and 
won fame at once. Rumors of a great victory came. His wife and 
friends were anxious for the news. It came by a courier, who 
spurred in hot haste to his home, in Lexington. These were the 
words: " My subscription to the negro Sunday-school is due — it is 
fifty cents— which I send by the courier." Nothing more. 

At the First Manassas his fame was made, when that noble soldier, 
Bernard Bee, cried out to his wavering men, " See where Jackson, 
with his Virginians, stands like a stone wall ! Let us form behind 
them. ' ' 

After the repulse at Malvern Hill, General Lee and other generals 
were discussing the situation, and what we were to do in the morn- 
ing. Jackson was lying upon the ground, apparently slumbering, 
his cap lying over his face. He was aroused and asked his opinion 

*Jackson was Professor of Mathematics. There was a desire on the part 
of the cadets that he should command the corps in the impending battle. 
General Smith meant he should remain as Professor of Mathematics by ■' re- 
main as you are." 

314 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

of what was to be done in the morning. Removing the cap from 
his face, he said: " They won't be there in the morning," nor were 

One morning, while marching with his staff, he stopped at the 
door of a farm-house. A gentle-looking woman was in the porch, 
with a little child at her knee, of whom he requested a drink of 
water. She promptly handed him a stone jug of cool and fresh 
water, which he quaffed like a horse. One of his staff asked the 
good woman to "give me a drink of that water, please." She 
emptied the pitcher upon the ground, went into the house and 
brought out a white pitcher, from which she gave the captain a 
drink. "Why did you not give it from the other pitcher?" asked 
the officer. " Oh," she said, " No man's lips shall ever again drink 
from that pitcher. ' ' 


Again, while marching on to some new r victory, he halted by a 
farm-house, whence a young mother came out into the road, with 
her young child in her arms, and said: " General, won't you bless 
my child ? " He took the little infant in his arms, and reverently 
raising it, w T ith uncovered head, prayed for God's blessing upon it. 

In the battle of Kernstown he was worsted by General Shields 
(one of the noblest of the Federal commanders). Because of the 
Confederates' ammunition being all exhausted, General Dick Gar- 
nett withdrew his troops. Jackson arrested Garnett, one of the 
truest and highest gentlemen in our army, and held him in arrest 
until Garnett, by personal influence, procured a trial by court-martial. 
Jackson was the principal witness for the prosecution. The court 
acquitted Garnett, after hearing Jackson's testimony, and only per- 
mitted the defence to be spread upon the record on Garnett' s demand 
that, after such unusual and conspicuous severity, it was his right. 

Poor Garnett fell in front *of his brigade in the great charge at 
Gettysburg. He was mourned throughout our army, for a braver 
and gentler gentleman never died in battle. 


While a professor of the Virginia Military Institue, Jackson ar- 
rested and caused a distinguished cadet to be dismissed for an infrac- 
tion of the regulations. That cadet was distinguished as a scholar 

Incidents of General T. J. Jackson. 315 

and soldier. He found himself after four years of study and schol- 
arly achievements deprived of the diploma, which was the object of 
his long endeavor; without it his livelihood was imperilled. He was 
justly outraged by such harshness, and vowed he would castigate 
Jackson, and prepared himself to execute that purpose. He was a 
powerful and daring young man. The friends of both were deeply 
anxious — Jackson was urged to have him bound over to keep the 
peace. This would involve his oath that he was in bodily fear of his 
enemy. He replied: " I will not do it, for it would be false. I do 
not fear him. I fear no man." Then the superintendent had to 
take the oath as required by the law, and have the young man bound 
over to peace. When the war came on Jackson, upon his own pro- 
motion to a corps, had this young fellow made brigadier, and he 
became one of the most distinguished generals of the war, and is 
known to-day as one of the ablest men of our State. Jackson knew 
he had done his pupil a grievous wrong, and did his best to repair it. 

It is a pity where there is so much to admire and wonder at that 
Jackson's biographers should claim for him accomplishments he did 
not possess. Some of them tell of his fine horsemanship. He was 
singularly awkward and uncomfortable to look at upon a horse. In 
the riding school at West Point we used to watch him with anxiety 
when his turn came to cut at the head or leap the bars. He had a 
rough hand with the bridle, an ungainly seat, and when he would 
cut at a head upon the ground, he seemed in imminent danger of 
falling headlong from his horse. One biographer tells us ' ' as proof 
of his skill that no horse ever threw him." This proof would not 
satisfy a fox-hunter or a cow-boy, or any other real horseman. He 
could no more have become a horseman than he could have danced 
the german. 

About 1850 Jackson was a lieutenant of artillery stationed at Gov- 
ernor's Island, when he was invited to accept the chair of Mathema- 
tics in the Virginia Military Institute. 

In those days the government would grant an officer leave of ab- 
sence for one year to enable him to try such an office before resigning 
his commission. 

So he came up to West Point to see McClellan and myself and 
other comrades before retiring from the army. He was more cordial 
and affectionate than was usual with him, for he was never demon- 
strative in his manners, and he was in good spirits, because of his 
promotion and the compliment paid him. 

316 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


He informed us, however, of a peculiar malady which troubled 
him, and complained that one arm and one leg were heavier than the 
other, and would occasionally raise his arm straight up, as he said, 
to let the blood run back into his body, and so relieve the excessive 

I have heard that he often did this, when marching, and having 
become very religious, his men supposed he was praying. I never 
saw him any more, except at Manassas after the battle, when Gen- 
eral Johnston and other officers were congratulating him upon his 
fine conduct in the battle. These peculiarities have often been re- 
garded and cited as evidences of the great genius he possessed. 

I have always heard it said that he was an advocate for raising the 
black flag, and showing no mercy to the enemy who were invading 
our country and destroying our homes. And it has often been said 
and written, that he urged General Lee to assault the enemy in the 
town of Fredericksburg by night, after their defeat, and while they 
were retreating over the river, and that General Lee refused to do 
so because of the peril to the people of the town. I have never 
heard of Jackson evincing any sympathy or gentleness, or merciful 
regard for the wounded enemies he must have seen, nor tender emo- 
tions of any sort. 

Therefore, the delightful book lately published by his widow is a 
revelation and surprise. Nothing in all literature can equal the ex- 
quisite gentleness and sweetness this book gives us of the stern, 
stolid, impassive nature, who lavished such tenderness upon the ob- 
ject of his love. To her he unlocks a treasure of rich and pious and 
loving emotions, none of us, his most intimate friends, had ever 
before suspected to exist. 

We are glad to know a new edition will soon appear, for every 

library is incomplete without his wife's biography of Stonewall 


Dabney H. Maury. 

Hon. Thomas J. Semmes. 317 

[From the New Orleans, La., Picayune, January 23, 1898.] 


An Evening with the Venerable Statesman and Jurist. 

A Charming Retrospect of a Useful and Eventful Life. 

[Perusal of this will justify its preservation in these pages. — Ed.] 

To every one at times there comes a moment of retrospection 
when the mind, leaving the currents of every day life, turns back to 
the past in loving memory, and thoughts now gay and happy, anon 
sad and tearful, sweep over the heart chords, and the echoes awak- 
ened in some dim twilight hour and heard by only a privileged few, 
make oft-times an important chapter in history of which the great 
outside world would gladly catch the lingering refrain. 

It was the privilege of the writer to share just such a moment as 
this a few evenings ago in the historic home of the distinguished 
advocate and jurist, Judge Thomas J. Semmes. 

For over half a century a conspicuous figure in the United States, 
for over forty years a leader of the Louisiana bar, and during that 
most important epoch of the nineteenth century a part and parcel of 
that great historic movement which, seemingly ending in defeat in 
war, still lives as the cardinal principle upon which this American 
republic is founded, Mr. Semmes stands to-day one of the most 
important connecting links between the old South and the new, one 
of the three surviving members of that great Confederate Congress 
which stood for all that the South held most dear, a living witness of 
the dear dead days which are forever wreathed in ivy and immortelle 
in the hearts of our people. 

It was one of those rare evenings on which the pencil of a poet or 
artist might love to dwell. We were seated at dinner in the beauti- 
ful old mansion on South Rampart street, which has been the scene 
of some of the most notable gatherings in the South. There were 
only five of us — Mr. Semmes, his amiable and accomplished wife, 
she who has stood by his side these many years, in clouds and sun- 
shine, in triumph and defeat, fulfilling that beautiful picture of Ten- 
nyson's "Isabel" — "a queen of women, a most perfect wife" — 
Father Alexander J. Semmes, who, as physician and surgeon, fol- 
lowed the fortunes of the 8th Louisiana Regiment from the hour that 

818 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

the bugle called "To arms," till Lee laid down the most spotless 
sword that was ever surrendered; then turning from the fire and 
smoke of battle, Dr. Semmes entered another army — that of the 
Catholic priesthood — there to wage an undying war while life lasted 
in defense of the gospel of Christ; a young girl who listened with 
wonderlit eyes to the stories told of a day of which the children of 
this generation can catch only the lingering light and shadows, and 
the humble writer of this sketch. 

All around were memories of a beautiful past. The old mansion 
teems with legendary and historic relics, and suggestive pictures of 
the old, old life now passing away forever. In the library, filled with 
choicest thoughts of the master minds of every age, hangs the pic- 
ture of Mrs. Semmes' old "mammy," a privileged character in the 
household, as she goes about still exerting that familiar maternal 
sway which, even in the after years of married life, tenderly bound 
the women of the South to their dear old " negro mammies." From 
room to room are tokens and souvenirs from the most distinguished 
men of the century; the cabinets are littered with autograph letters 
from men who gave the South a history and a name, and here and 
there are quaint souvenirs of travel in foreign lands — a statue from 
Rome, a piece of art from Florence, rare old pictures from the ancient 
masters and a trophy from the Holy Land. And over the whole 
house is that delightful atmosphere of culture and love of study so 
grateful to the student and historian. Indeed, the peculiar, old- 
time charm about all is enough to evoke reminiscences of the past, 
when the evening shadows fall and the candles are lit, and everything 
around and about seems to cry out: "A home with such souvenirs is 
a home of memories, and a home with memories is a home with a 

One turns from these pictures to the most conspicuous figures in 
the home itself — Judge and Mrs. Semmes. Despite his three score 
years and ten, the venerable and distinguished advocate still proudly 
holds his own as one of the most eminent members of the Louisiana 
bar, and the fire of his genius burns as brightly to-day as in the days 
when he first stood in the courts of our State, pleading great causes, 
or later, when his voice was heard in the congress at Richmond, in 
those dark days of i86i-'65, faithfully legislating in behalf of his 
doomed but beloved Southland. As he sat there in the gathering 
evening talking of the past, and now and again turning with beauti- 
ful old-time courtesy to his wife, as he thought that she might relate 
some anecdote or occurrence better than he, the picture drawn of 

Hofi. Thomas J. Semmes. 319 

him by a well-known writer of the day came to mind: " Mr. Semmes 
is of middle height; he has eyes that glow with Promethean fire; 
regular features in which assiduous labor and long nights of study 
have left no trace. He is not demonstrative in manner, yet he is a 
true and reliable friend. His expression is serious, but when excited 
in speech it grows articulate with the emotions that thrill his soul. 
His voice is musical and fits every intonation and cadence, his pene- 
trative intellect is as quick as it is vivid, and does not wait upon 
labored induction; he darts at once upon the core of his subject, and 
starts where most reasoners end. He is familiar with the Latin and 
Greek classics; Tacitus is his favorite author. Disciplined by such 
an education, his tastes are alwavs correct. In the subtle game of 
law he is as adroit as a general in the held; when he gets into his 
subject and is warmed with it, he utters words of fire that carry the 
listener along captive with him. If his argument is close to the 
point, it is at the same time full of his adversary's inconsistencies. 
He is renowned 'for his ability to sway courts by his logic, almost 
irresistible, and his juries by his fascinating eloquence. He is called 
by some of our lawyers the incarnation of logic. At home his man- 
ners are amiable and his spirit buoyant and playful; he is a loving 
and indulgent father and husband, and when he can lay aside the 
cares of his office he gives himself over to the enjoyment of domes- 
tic happiness." 

Both Mr. Semmes and his wife are charming, interesting conver- 
sationalists, and, listening to the two, one can understand the long 
and tender friendship and affection that has bound them as one; it 
is a union not only of heart and hand, but of mind and soul, and, 
knowing them well, one can better understand the great success that 
has attended his life when he meets with such congenial companion- 
ship and sympathy in the partner of his choice. Father Semmes, 
too, is a delightful addition to their household, and the tender defer- 
ence paid to this venerable and beloved priest is a key-note to the 
character of his brother and sister. 

The conversation had drifted in that delightful way characteristic 
of informal home dinings from one topic to another, when Mr. 
Semmes began to tell stories of his boyhood at Georgetown and his 
college days at Harvard. The Semmes family is of French and 
English descent, and was among the first settlers of Maryland. A 
member of the family, Middleton Semmes, when a judge of the 
Court of Appeals in Maryland, discovered among some old colonial 
papers the record showing that "Joseph Semmes, of Normandy, 

320 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

France," was, by order of the council, naturalized, to enable him to 
hold land. 

The date of the paper was 1640, and was the first paper of natu- 
ralization ever granted in America. There is in connection with this 
a singular coincidence. On the Virginia side of the Potomac river, 
opposite the Semmes property, are some high cliffs, which are called 
to this day the "Normandy Cliffs," and French Normandy, as 
every one knows is noted for its' cliffs on the seashore. A peculiar 
fact, too, is that from the beginning' of the settlement in Maryland 
the name of Joseph has gone through every generation of the family. 

Many years ago Father Vawhorseigh discovered in an old church 
in Charles county, Maryland, a strong bound Latin prayer book, 
with the Mass and Vespers, and all the prayers in Latin. The book 
had been printed in Belgium. It had in very pale writing the name 
of Joseph Semmes within, and, pasted in, a steel engraved coat of 
arms of George Neville, of England, with the motto, " Ne ville 
vellis " on it. Mr. Semmes had married a Miss Neville, and be- 
neath the marriage date was painted in black, " 1640." Mr. T. J. 
Semmes' mother was a woman of remarkable intelligence. She was 
a member of a prominent and wealthy family of Maryland, who had 
come over with Lord Baltimore, and settled 'in St. Mary's county, 
Maryland. His father was Raphael Semmes, uncle of the world- 
renowned Confederate Admiral, and commander of the Alabama. 
On the maternal side, Mr. Semmes' family were Welsh-Catholic. 
His grandfathers were both extensive land owners in Charles county, 

Speaking of his mother, Mr. Semmes said: 

"She was a woman of great variety of information and sweetest 
culture. Her strength of mind was remarkable, and this wonderful 
faculty she retained unimpaired up to the ripe age of eighty, when 
she died. That was seventeen years ago. She was largely instru- 
mental in the formation of the character of her children, and to her 
careful training and watchful care they owe much of their success in 
life. My mother was on terms of personal intimacy with every Pres- 
ident of the United States, from Monroe to Lincoln, and she had 
associated with all the distinguished men and women in Washington 
for the greater part of half a century. This naturally threw her 
children into the most pleasant surroundings and companionship. 
I personally remember and knew every President of the United 
States from the time of Martin Van Buren." 

Hon. Thomas J. Semmes. 321 

And here Mr. Semmes smiled pleasantly as he recalled the first 
time that he had ever seen Mr. Van Buren. 

" It was at a children's party given in Washington at the residence 
of Mr. Forsythe, one of the cabinet officers. I was a little boy then, 
and was among the invited guests. We children were playing merry 
games, in which Mr. Forsythe led, when President Van Buren entered 
the room. I remember him well. He was dressed in a blue cuta- 
way coat, with brass buttons, frilled shirt front, nankeen breeches 
and long silk hose and low-quarter shoes with silver buckles. He 
was a splendid-looking man, and we children soon got over our awe 
of the President when he entered so heartily into our games and 

Then Mr. Semmes recalled many facts of Mr. Van Buren's admin- 
istration and the gay times at the capitol in Washington. Mr. Van 
Buren had been minister to England, and while there saw the mag- 
nificent gold service which was used on state occasions. When he 
became President of the United States he introduced gold spoons 
into the White House. This was considered a terrible piece of ex- 
travagance for a democratic country. His administration was char- 
acterized by his enemies as the most extravagant of the Presidents. 
In the next campaign, when he was a candidate for re-election, the 
"gold spoons" were used against him with telling vengeance. 
Everywhere the cry rang out in the North against Martin Van Buren's 
extravagance, and with this cry that of ' ' Tippecanoe and Tyler, 
too," with the result that Harrison was elected. But succeeding 
years have shown that Mr. Van Buren's administration was the most 
economical of all the Presidents, notwithstanding the "gold spoons," 
as it was certainly one of the most brilliant. 

Then Mr. Semmes recalled personal experiences with all the Pres- 
idents of those succeeding days, and his reminiscences form a 
delightful history of themselves. After graduating at Georgetown 
College, in which he took first honors for three successive years, he 
began the study of law in the office of Clement Cox, of Georgetown. 
He was then about eighteen years of age. A few months afterward 
he entered Harvard College, whence he graduated in 1845. Har- 
vard Law School was then presided over by Associate Justice Story, 
then of the United States bench, and Prof. Greenleaf, author of the 
well-known work on " Evidence." 

"Among my classmates," said Mr. Semmes, "were Rutherford 
B. Hayes, afterwards President of the United States; Henry C. 
Semple, nephew of the then President, John Tyler, and Mr. Burlin- 

322 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

game, who afterwards became minister to China. While I was at 
Harvard I read the review of Judge Story's ' Commentary on the 
United States Constitution,' written by Judge Upshur, of Virginia. 
This book was the turning point in my political thought. Reflecting 
seriously on its spirit and teachings, I became a Democrat, and 
never once during the long line of sixty years that have nearly 
passed since then, have I swerved from its sacred principles. My 
family were all Whigs. Indeed, almost^ all the people of education 
and standing were Whigs in those days. The Democrats as yet, 
were little regarded, and one may imagine the feelings in my old and 
staunch Whig family, when I announced to them that I intended to 
forsake the political creed of my ancestors and that I was an out and 
out Democrat. My mother and father were bitterly opposed, but 
my conversion rested upon firm conviction in the undying principles 
of true Democracy. It was a remarkable book, that of Judge Up- 
shur's review. I have never seen the work since, though I have 
often tried to procure it. Judge Upshur was a very excellent scholar 
and a vigorous writer. He was killed during President Polk's ad- 
ministration, or Mr. Tyler's. The book was loaned to me while at 
Harvard by my fellow-student, Henry C. Semple, who, by the way, 
was the father of Rev. Father Semple, president of the Jesuit's Col- 
lege of this city. Henry C. Semple afterwards became a distin- 
guished lawyer of Montgomery, Alabama." 

" I had the pleasure of seeing my whole family," continued Mr. 
Semmes, "converted some years later to the Democracy. When 
the so-called 'American Party ' was formed among the Whigs, and 
Catholic churches and schoolhouses were burned, my mother changed 
her political tenets, and said that she would never be identified with 
a party that was so 'un-American,' and which could so ruthlessly 
destroy the houses of God and education. She became an un- 
swerving Democrat, and converted "my father to her views. The 
family followed, and we have all been Democrats ever since. 

"I made my first political speech in behalf of the Democratic 
cause, at Georgetown, when Mr. Polk was a candidate for president. 
I am happy to say that that maiden effort won many to my side, 
though at that time my parents were still firm Whigs, and were hor- 
rified at one of their blood espousing the cause of the Democrats. 
But no truer Democrat ever lived than my dear old mother, as her 
subsequent life proved." 

"When did you come to live in New Orleans?" asked the 

Hon. Thomas J. Semmes. 323 

" In 1850, immediately after my marriage," and here a pleasant 
light lit up his face, as he reverted to his meeting with the beautiful 
Miss Myra E. Knox, daughter of Mr. William Knox, a prominent 
ante-bellum planter, and president of the Central Bank, of Mont- 
gomery, Alabama. Mrs. Semmes' mother was Miss Anna O. Lewis, 
a member of the distinguished Lewis and Fairfax families, of Vir- 
ginia, and relatives of the Washingtons. " I was married in January, 
1850," said Mr. Semmes, "and came to live in New Orleans. The 
civil law of Louisiana was very different from the common law, and 
I was obliged to study for three months in order to qualify for ad- 
mission to the bar of the State. Our jurisprudence was based upon 
the laws of Spain and on the Napoleon code, which had been 
adopted by the Louisiana Legislature with such modifications as had 
been thought advisable. But I was determined to master every 
branch of my profession, for I loved civil law, and wished to have a 
profound knowledge of it from the twelve tables of Rome and the 
institutions of Justinian, to the Napoleon code. Passing a satisfac- 
tory examination before a committee appointed by the Supreme 
Court, I was admitted to practice, and in 1853, I formed a partner- 
ship with Matthew Edwards, who had been my classmate at Harvard. 
In 1855, when the excitement of the 'Know-nothing Party' ran 
high, the partnership was severed. I was invited to deliver an ad- 
dress in defense of the Catholics at Armory Hall, and openly attacked 
the principles of the Know-nothing party." 

Mr. Semmes did not tell, however, how his vigorous utterances on 
that occasion brought him prominently into notice in political life, 
and he was at once elected a member of the Democratic State Cen- 
tral Committee, and afterwards to the House of Representatives of 
the State, by a large majority. 

Reverting to the bar in 1850 in Louisiana, Mr. Semmes told many 
delightful reminiscences. He enjoyed the intimate friendship of such 
distinguished men as Alfred Hennen, John R. Grymes, Slidell, 
Christian Roselius, S. S. Prentiss, Judah P. Benjamin, Mr. Bonford, 
Charles Gayarre, Judge Walker and other typical representatives of 
the old Louisiana bench and bar. He also knew, intimately, Dr. 
Warren Stone, Dr. W. Newton Mercer, Dr. Augustas Cenas, and 
others equally distinguished in scientific, political and commercial 

And this led him to speak of the life and aristocracy of the old 
South. It seemed to be a theme upon which he loved to linger, for 
his face glowed with a softened light, and at times his voice grew 

324 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

tremulous with emotion, as he recalled scene after scene in that 
drama which led up to the most portentous event of these modern 
times, the civil war in America. 

"No life," said he, "can ever again be like the life of those 
olden days. The South had an element in its society — a landed 
gentry — which afforded ample opportunity for extraordinary culture, 
elevated the standard of scholarship in the South, enlarged and 
emancipated social intercourse, and established schools of individual 
refinement. We had a vast agricultural country, and the pursuit of 
agriculture in the South had its fixed features. No life was like the 
plantation life of those days, and many old negroes who survive 
gladly testify to its alluring charms. The kindness of an old master 
or mistress comes back through the vista of receding years, like a 
sunset glow from a distant land, and no one but the Southern child 
who has experienced the loving, thoughtful care of an old negro 
mammy, can appreciate the bond of sympathy which often united 
the races. 

" The people of the North could not understand all this. But the 
colonies of Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas were from the first 
distinguished for their polite manners, their fine sentiment, their 
attachment to a sort of feudal life, their landed gentry, their love of 
field sports, and the prodigal aristocracy that dispensed its store in 
constant rounds of hospitality and gaiety. We had a rich popula- 
tion then, and, as I said before, dispensed a baronial hospitality. 
All was life and joy and affluence. The old tradition of colonial 
Southern manners was still followed out, for no traveler was allowed 
to go to a tavern after he had been the guest of one of these old 
families, but was handed over from family to family through entire 
States. The holidays were celebrated by master and slave with 
music and feasting, and petty litigation was at a low ebb. There 
was an old tradition, too, that gold was kept in chests among our 
early ancestors after the downfall of continental paper, and weighed 
in scales and loaned out to neighbors on terms of short payment, 
without note, interest or witness or security, so great was the pro- 
verbial honor of the South. It was hard, therefore, for the descend- 
ants of the Puritan exiles who established themselves upon the cold 
and rugged soil of New England to understand the manners and 
traditions of the descendents of the cavaliers who sought the brighter 
climate of the South, and told stories of their ancestors in their baro- 
nial halls in Virginia drinking confusion to roundheads and regicides. 

" The South yielded to none in her love for the Union, but States' 

Hon. Thomas J. Semmes. 325 

Rights were the most marked peculiarity of the politics of the 
Southern people, and it was this doctrine that gave to the Union its 
moral dignity. The South, as a well-known writer said, bowed 
neither before an idol of gain nor the shadow of a name. She wor- 
shiped that picture of the Union which made it a peculiar association 
in which the State was sovereign, and these sovereign States were 
held by high considerations of good faith; by the exchanges of 
equity and comity, by the noble attractions of social order and the 
enthused sympathies of a common destiny of power, honor and 
patriotism and renown." 

And still, with the pleasant touch of a wizard hand, Mr. Semmes 
lingered upon his fascinating theme, dwelling with infinite charm 
upon days that seem in this practical, money-making age, like glean- 
ings from the pages of knight errantry and romance. And then he 
jpoke of the stirring events that came with the years, and finally of 
that great, sad struggle, that swept over the Southland, burying the 
)ld life forever in its course. Of the causes that led up to that 
struggle, he spoke freely. He went over the intervening years when 
Le was appointed by President Buchanan, United States District 
Lttorney for Louisiana, and how he resigned this office in 1859, to 
iccept the Attorney Generalship of the State. In January, 1861, 
events were rushing forward, and he was elected a member of the 
convention which passed the secession ordinance, January 26, 1861. 
I was a member of the committee of fifteen, which drafted this 
ordinance," said Mr. Semmes. 

'And somewhere carefully put away," added Mrs. Semmes, "I 
have still the pen with which you signed that ordinance." 

In September, 1861, I was called by President Davis to Mont- 
gomery, to consult with him as Attorney General of our State, as to 
the suspension of specie payment by the banks." The first loan 
iver made to the Confederacy, as testified by Mr. Memminger in a 
letter to the Confederate Congress, was by Mr. Knox, father of Mrs. 
jemmes. Mr. Memminger justly praises the devotion "of that pa- 
xiotic gentleman ' ' in this volunteer offer. 

In November, 1861, Mr. Semmes was elected a member of the 
Confederate Congress at Richmond, and took his seat in the Senate 
with his colleague from Louisiana, General Edward H. Sparrow. 
Le passed through Montgomery on his way to Richmond, and here 
Mrs. Semmes met her parents, who were delighted that a son-in-law 
of theirs had this high honor conferred upon him, so dearly did they 
love the South. Mrs. Semmes referred laughingly to the beautiful 

326 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

trousseau that her father presented her with to take to Richmond, as 
became the wife of a Confederate Senator. In Congress, Mr. 
Semmes was at once appointed a member of the Finance Committee, 
in connection with Honorable R. M. T. Hunter, of Virginia, and 
Honorable Robert Barnwell, of South Carolina, and a member of the 
Judiciary Committee, of which Honorable B. H. Hill was chairman. 
He was also chairman of the joint committee on the flag and 
seal of the Confederate States. As chairman of the joint committee 
on flag and seal, Mr. Semmes took an active part, and his efforts 
were of no little importance in the selection and adoption of an ap- 
propriate motto for the seal finally adopted. In conjunction with 
Mr. Hunter, he prepared the " tax in kind bill," which practically 
supported the Confederacy during the last two years of the war. He 
also wrote the report on retaliation, and the report of the Judiciary 
Committee on martial law. 

But all these facts are matters of history. It was of that inner life 
of the Confederacy that he spoke most freely, those days of social 
life in Richmond, gay and brilliant as some olden court, and then 
varying in the scale of merriness as the end of the gamut was reached 
and Richmond found itself a doomed city. 

" Yes, the social life in Richmond during the war was very beau- 
tiful, and characterized by that old-time grace and hospitality for 
which the South was famous. It was, indeed, the last chapter in the 
history of that olden life. We occupied a beautiful mansion known 
as the Cruikshanks house. It was one of the finest houses in Rich- 
mond, and almost a fac simile of that occupied by Presidant Davis." 

"Indeed," said Mrs. Semmes, "I liked our house much better 
than I did the presidential mansion." 

Mr. Semmes smiled and continued: " Our home was the center of 
a most brilliant coterie. Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, Vice- 
President of the Confederate States, was a bachelor, and asked to 
make his home with us. We also had Mr. Garland, afterwards a 
member of Mr. Cleveland's cabinet, and General Sparrow, my col- 
league. Of course, they did not want to accept my hospitality 
without paying board, and so we laughingly complied. My boarders 
during the last years of the war used to pay me about $900 a month, 
and we used to estimate the expenses of running our house at about 
$300,000 a year. Fancy this sum for household expenses, but you 
must remember that we were using Confederate money, and, as Mrs. 
Semmes used to say, we would send a whole basketful of money to 
market in exchange for provisions. Our boarders in reality paid us 

Hon. Thomas J. Se.mmes. 327 

about $100 a month, and towards the close of the war the money 
was not even valued at that. I was not a rich man, but my father- 
in-law was one of the wealthy men of the South, and he kept us 
liberally supplied with funds." 

"Yes, indeed," said Mrs. Semmes, "we used to get all manner 
of nice .provisions and hampers from Montgomery, and never 
knew how they reached us so safely, for everything came to us con- 
traband. Our table was always well supplied, and many were the 
brilliant dinners we gave. We often invited the senators from the 
border States, for some of these fared very badly, indeed; they had 
to live in one room, and on corn and beans and bacon, and as their 
States were very much divided, supplies sent them by their constit- 
uents were cut off, and money, too. They had a hard time of it, 
but they stOQd nobly by the cause to the end. We had great times 
in the first years of the war, when our cause seemed so sure of suc- 
cess and our boys were fighting so bravely, but towards the end Mr. 
Stephens and Mr. Garland, General Sparrow and Mr. Semmes used 
to come home with weary hearts." 

" But you were always bright and cheerful to the end," said Mr. 
Semmes. " It was wonderful, the courage of the Southern women 
during the war. In Richmond, where at all hours, day or night, 
you could hear the roaring of the cannons and the echo of shot and 
shell, where bullets were often flying in the streets, the women kept 
up their social life. Parties and receptions and dinners were given 
night after night; when our boys in gray passed through the capital, 
all the women went out to greet them, waving handkerchiefs and 
bidding them Godspeed. Receptions were given in their honor, and 
a perpetual round of gayety was kept up. The women did this to 
cheer on the soldier boys. Many a group of handsome officers 
danced the night away and went forth to fight on the morrow, and 
were buried in the evening shadows on the battle field. There was 
General J. E. B. Stuart, the dashing cavalry officer, who, the night 
before he was killed, played in the charades at the home of my sis- 
ter, Mrs. Ives, wife of Colonel Ives, who was an officer on President 
Davis' staff. Mrs. Ives' home was a great centre for the young 
folks. That night all the prettiest girls in Richmond were taking- 
part in the charades, and some of the most brilliant officers of the 
army. There were present Mr. Davis, Mr. Stephens, Judah P. Ben- 
jamin, Secretary Mallory, Mrs. Mallory — in fact, all the cabinet 
officers and their wives, the representatives in Congress, justices of 
the Supreme Court, etc. , and General Stuart was the observed of all 

328 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

observers, as he gaily led the charades. He was so brilliant, so 
handsome and daring, that he was called the Prince Rupert of the 
Confederacy, as he used to dash around Richmond on his noble 
charger, with his black plume flying in the breeze. That night he 
left the smiling throng with a flower that some pretty girl had just 
pinned in the lapel of his coat, and the next day news came that he 
who was always in the most advanced line of battle, he who was al- 
ways ready for a fight or a frolic, had been killed, his bright blue eyes 
looking into the very face of death without a quiver, and ready for 
the worst. 

"His remains were brought to Richmond, and every eye was 
dimmed with tears as the soldiers bearing the body of their dead 
general marched down the street, while the band played ' Maryland, 
My Maryland. ' Only a few hours before that stalwart soldier him- 
self had been singing' ' Old Joe Hooker, will you come out of the 
Wilderness ? ' and now he was cold in death, and never would we 
look upon his like again." 

Mrs. Semmes related with tears in her eyes how the news of 
Stonewall Jackson's death had been received in Richmond. Many 
refused to believe that this bravest Roman of them all was dead. 
She herself went out on the street to ascertain the truth, and as she 
approached the capitol she met some soldiers carrying a covered 
corpse and marching with bowed heads to the beat of the muffled 
drums. " Who is it that they are carrying," she asked with white 
lips. And the simple answer came back. " Stonewall Jackson." 

"The death of General Jackson," said Mrs. Semmes, "cast a 
shadow on the fortunes of the Confederacy that reached to the catas- 
trophe of the war. His death was not only a loss to his country; it 
was a calamity to the world. As some one has nobly said: ' It was a 
subtraction from the living generation of genius; the extinction of a 
great light in the temple of Christianity.' Thousands followed him 
to the grave and consecrated it with their tears." 

Then he spoke of Robert Lee, that grand old chieftain whose 
name is never mentioned to this day without throbbing heart by the 
old veterans of the South. " General Lee was a frequent visitor at 
our house in Richmond; he was then, as he is to-day, the great 
ideal of Southern chivalry and truth. Great in defeat as he was in 
victory, the annals of the world's history bears no purer or greater 
name than that of Robert Lee." 

Many reminiscences did Mr. Semmes recall of Mason and Slidell, 
Yancey and Breckenridge, and Mallory and Stephens, Beauregard 

Hon. Thomas J. Semmes. 329 

and Johnston. He remembered as though it were only yesterday, 
every incident of that war, and spoke of the death of Albert Sidney 
Johnston, the brave and peerless, whose loss, as Mr. Davis said in 
his message to Congress, was irreparable; whose last breath cheered 
his comrades on to victory, whose last thought was his country. ' ' I 
never shall forget," continued Mr. Semmes, " how strong men wept 
when the special message of Mr. Davis was read on the floor of the 
Confederate Congress, and how sobs almost choked the voice of the 
reader as he concluded: 'Among the shining hosts of the great and 
good, who now cluster around the banner of our country, there 
exists no purer spirit, no more heroic soul than that of the illustrious 
man whose death I join you in lamenting.' " 

"Tell about our visit to the battlefield of Manassas," said Mr. 
Semmes to his wife, as he warmed with his subject, and with a sweet 
pathos, Mrs. Semmes told how, after the famous First Manassas, it 
was resolved to erect a marble shaft on the spot where General Bar- 
tow had fallen, shot through the heart. General Bartow was one of 
the bravest and most promising spirits in the South. He had led the 
Georgia regiment, which had fought with the 4th Alabama like tigers 
in the strife. General Berrien, a brother-in-law of Dr. Semmes; Mr. 
and Mrs. Semmes, the doctor, General Sam Jones and Staff, all went 
out to Manassas early in the morning to see the shaft erected. For 
some reason or other it was impossible for Mr. Davis, who had been 
expected to be the orator of the day, to be present. At the last 
moment the Georgia regiment and General Sam Jones called upon 
Mr. Semmes to be the orator of the occasion. 

" He was so totally taken by surprise," said Mrs. Semmes, " that 
he came up to me and whispered, ' I really don't know what to say 
on such short notice.' ' Yes you do,' I replied, 'just tell them about 
the bravery and heroism of our Southern boys; tell them how they 
are suffering and how they still cling to the cause which is so dear to 
us all.' "And he did," said Mrs. Semmes. " I think that it was the 
grandest speech he ever made in his life, even if he is my husband. 
Perhaps it was the time and place, but I know that we were all in 
tears as he spoke of our Southern boys and the brave man who had 
laid down his life for the cause. I shall never forget how Manassas 
looked that day; it seemed as though a hurricane had swept over 
the place. The battle had raged long and fiercely between two 
wooden houses known as the Henry and Robinson houses, at some 
distance from each other on the plateau. General Bartow had fallen 

330 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

near the Henry house. It had been a great victory for our men. 
The house was just riddled with bullets. I went in to look at it; all 
along the route, too, for over three miles were the evidences of the 
indescribable rout; a shapeless, morbid mass of bones and sinews, 
wood and iron, powder blackened trees, charred bridges. Oh, it 
was dreadful, dreadful and one of the most terrible pictures of the 
war. ' ' 

" My old home of Warrenton saw much of the bloody battling," 
said Mrs. Semmes. "When General Stuart was defending War- 
renton the women of the place showed their undaunted heroism. 
My own sister, Mrs. Payne, who was the wife of Major Rice W. 
Payne, turned her own home into a hospital for the Confederate 
wounded. The best rooms in the house were for the soldiers, and 
when sick and dying they were brought there, and she herself nursed 
them, making even the little children in the house play the nurse, 
too, by fanning the soldiers while they slept, and handing them water 
and so on. Several of her children contracted the fever. Four of 
the soldiers having died in my sister's home, they were buried with 
military honors. The children, happily, recovered, but my sister 
was taken ill and died, a victim to her love for the stricken South. 

' ' Some amusing incidents occurred in Warrenton. When the 
Yankee soldiers would pass through and ask for food, the ladies 
growing tired and determined to save all sustenance for our boys in 
gray, determined to make the enemy pay for food. I had a cousin 
who was married to a Presbyterian minister by the name of Pollock. 
He was from Maine and was the tallest, thinest and most cadaverous 
looking man I ever saw. One day it was reported that my cousin 
had hidden some Yankee bones in her yard. The union soldiers 
were trying to gather up all the bones of those who were killed and 
bury them. A squad of union soldiers marched up to my cousin's 
house and said to her: 'We hear Madam, that you have a bag of 
Yankee bones hidden in your house.' She looked at the captain a 
moment, and answered smartly: 'Yes, I have a bag of Yankee 
bones here; come with me and I will show r it to you.' She led the 
men into the chicken yard, where her tall, cadaverous husband was 
engaged in feeding the chickens, and pointing to him, she said: 
1 There is my bag of Yankee bones.' 

"This cousin's name was Elizabeth. One day when she heard 
that some Confederate soldiers had been wounded at a distance, she 
mounted her horse to go and aid them. On the way the horse took 

Hon. Thomas J. Semmes. 331 

fright at the sound of a gun and threw her against some rocks, badly 
injuring her in the face. Her husband, who was very pompous and 
slow in his language, hearing of the accident, hastened to her, and, 
entering the room, said: 'Tell me, Elizabeth, are you defaced? ' 

" She made her way, however, to the soldiers, and she and my 
sister had the church in Warrenton turned into a hospital to receive 
them, and there they were tenderly nursed — but some got well and 
others went to their eternal reward." 

Again events were hurrying forward, but not as at the beginning 
of the year 1861, when we all entered Richmond with such bright 
hopes. But the final catastrophy was delayed for a while yet. Col- 
onel Dahlgren determined to make a raid upon Richmond, and when 
the news reached us, all there was to oppose him was a force of local 
soldiery and a battalion of department clerks. The members of 
Congress shouldered guns and mounted guard around Richmond. 
But the small force of department clerks and unskilled soldiers were 
a match for Dahlgren, and averted the plot he had formed to pour 
fire upon the devoted capital of the Confederacy. But we soldiers 
were hungry," said Mr. Semmes. "I had had nothing to eat all 
day, and the heartiest meal I ever enjoyed was a piece of dry bread 
and a raw onion that I asked of an old market woman as she passed 
me where I was keeping guard. That was the best onion I ever ate 
in my life. Dark days were coming, however, for it had become 
apparent to all that the South must yield, not in bravery, but in su- 
periority of numbers. In Virginia, the supply of bread even was 
exhausted, and little more could be expected until after the next 
wheat crop came in. Provisions of all kinds were enormously high. ' ' 

" For instance," said Mrs. Semmes, "at our New Year's dinner 
in 1864, we had to pay $110 for the turkey to grace the feast. That 
was one of the last big dinners that we had at our house." 

" It was not such a big dinner in point of courses," said Mr. 
Semmes, "for we were getting reduced now, and money was worth 
nothing and provisions were high. Nevertheless, it was a good sub- 
stantial dinner; we had our expensive Confederate turkey, and vega- 
tables and game, and good bread, made at home, and nice dessert. 
We had Mr. Stephens and General Sparrow, and Mr. Garland from 
our home, and Bishop McGill and dear old Father Hubert to dine 
with us. I shall never forget that New Year's dinner. We all tried 
to be gay, but our hearts were inwardly sad. There was the usual 
visiting, customary in those days on New Year's day, but the old 
brilliancy and fire were fast ebbing away." 

332 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

"Mr. Stephens never forgot that New Year's dinner," said Mrs. 
Semmes, and she took from an old scrap-book, carefully put away, 
an autograph letter from Mr. Stephens, dated " New Year's, 1866. 
My dear Mrs. Semmes: Two years ago to-day we were at your 
house, in Richmond, and had Bishop McGill at dinner. What 
changes have taken place since then, and what reminiscences crowd 
upon my mind in taking this short retrospect. A whole train of 
these mixed with many pleasant as well as sad memories was awak- 
ened by your letter, which lies on the table before me." And then 
he goes on to speak, does the great Confederate statesman, of many 
things already told in this sketch — incidents in which he was pleas- 
antly interested and closed by wishing both her and Mr. Semmes 
long life and happiness. 

There were rumors and rumors that the war would have to be 
brought to a close, but Robert E. Lee, on whom all eyes were turned, 
still held out bravely. A small slip of paper, sent to President Davis, 
as he sat in his pew in St. Paul's church, contained the most momen- 
tous news of the war. It advised that everything should be in readi- 
ness to evacuate Richmond the coining night, unless before that 
time dispatches should be received to the contrary. The slip of 
paper was from General Lee. Many of the cabinet officers had sent 
their families from Richmond the previous week as also the congress- 
men. Mr. Semmes had sent Mrs. Semmes in a box-car, by the 
Richmond and Danville road, towards Montgomery. A week later 
he joined her in Georgia, and in Augusta heard of Lee's surrender. 
Thence the way was made by wagon and stage to Montgomery. 
Reaching here Mrs. Semmes heard that her husband would be pur- 
sued and she determined to save him. She drove to a farm-house, 
some miles distant from Montgomery, and asked the farmer to give 
her husband shelter. All this was without Mr. Semmes' knowledge. 
"Bring him to me," said the loyal old Southerner, "and he can 
stay at my farm and be known as the uncle of my children." But 
in a few days Mr. Knox sent word to his daughter that concealment 
was impossible; that it was known everywhere that Mr. Semmes was 
in Alabama and that he would join her in her father's house. This 
was already occupied by Yankee soldiers, but they were very cour- 
teous and kind to us, said Mrs. Semmes. 

Speaking of the surrender, Mr. Semmes said: 

" Though the sword was surrendered we did not surrender one jot 
or tittle of the principles for which we fought; they still live, and 
time is fully vindicating their truth. A few days later came the news 

Hon. Thomas J. 333 

that Jefferson Davis had been taken prisoner and confined in Fortress 
Monroe; perhaps it was the most fortunate thing that could have 
happened to Mr. Davis. Immediately he became the scape-goat of 
the Southern people; their sorrows had to be borne by him and he 
stood for the cause for which they had fought, and perhaps he would 
suffer the death penalty for them. The trial never came off, but for 
all that, Jefferson Davis returned, the people's idol — the great chief- 
tain of the South. And so he remains to this day." 

In October, 1865, Mr. Semmes went to Washington and saw 
President Johnson. The President asked him what he had done for 
the South? Mr. Semmes answered: "All that a man could do, by 
words and deeds, to promote the Confederate cause, and now he 
wanted to resume in peace the practice of his profession." 

"Well, go home and work," said Mr. Johnson. He immedi- 
ately returned to New Orleans, having borrowed $100 for that 
purpose, not being possessed of another cent in the world. His pa- 
latial home in this city, with its fine furniture and mirrors, and mag- 
nificent library, had been confiscated when the city fell into the 
hands of the Federal forces, under General Butler. He resumed the 
practice of his profession in partnership with Mr. Mott, and rapidly 
rose to the head of the Louisiana bar. 

The principal factors in those stirring scenes, of which he was 
such a part, have nearly all passed away. He and Mr. Garland and 
one other Senator, perhaps are all that remain of the Confederate 
Congress. The years have passed on and a new South has grown 
on the ruins of the old, and of this South Mr. Semmes is still a 
conspicuous figure and active worker. But as he himself said, the 
old life was full of grace and beauty, and has, for him, the peculiar 
charm of an autumn twilight's lingering adieu. 

334 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Wilmington, N. C, Star, March 12, 1897.] 


Historical Sketch Of. 

This brief record of the organization, movements and achievements 
of the 44th Regiment North Carolina Troops, could not have been 
written except for the assistance of Captains W. P. Oldham, Robert 
Bingham, Abram Cox and Lieutenants Thomas B. Long and 
Richard G. Sneed, officers of the regiment, who participated in its 
career, and especially am I under obligations to Captain John H. 
Robinson, of the 52nd North Carolina, who was detailed during the 
latter part of the campaign of 1864, at the request of General Wm. 
McRae, to serve on his staff as A. A. G. in place of Captain Louis 
G. Young, who had been severely wounded. The facts stated in a 
memorial address delivered by the writer in Wilmington, N. C, on 
May 10, 1890, on the life and character of General William McRae, 
in so far as they are connected with the operations of the regiment, 
and its participation in the various engagements described have been 
used without reserve, as they are known to be correct; nor has there 
been any hesitancy in quoting from the language of that address 
when appropriate to a description of events constituting alike a part 
of the history of the regiment as well as of the brigade. 

Chas. M. Stedman. 

The 44th Regiment North Carolina Troops (Infantry) was organ- 
ized at Camp Mangum, near Raleigh, N. C, on the 28th of March,. 
1862, with George B. Singletary as its colonel; Richard C. Cotten, 
captain Co. E, its lieutenant-colonel, and Elisha Cromwe'l, captain 
Co. B, as its major. Colonel Singletary was killed in a skirmish 
with Federal troops at Tranter's creek in Eastern North Carolina on 
the 5th day of June, 1862. He was an officer of extraordinary 
merit, and would have unquestionably attained high distinction but 
for his untimely end. On the 28th of June, 1862, Thomas C. Sin- 
gletary, his brother, was elected colonel in his stead. Lieutenant- 
Colonel Cotten resigned on account of advanced age on the 10th 
day of June, 1862, and Major Elisha Cromwell was promoted to the 
rank of lieutenant-colonel, to till the vacancy caused by his resigna- 
tion. The vacancy caused by the promotion of Major Elisha Crom- 

The Forty-fourth N. C. Infantry. 335 

well was filled by the election of Tazewell L. Hargrove, captain Co. 

A, on June 10, 1862. On the 24th day of July, 1862, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Cromwell resigned, and Major Tazewell L. Hargrove was 
elected in his place, and on the 28th of July, 1862, Charles M. Sted- 
man, captain Co. E, was promoted and elected major. The staff 
and company officers are named as they appear in the following list, 
and in the order of their promotion: 

Adjutants — Stark Armistead Sutton, John A. Jackson, R. W. 

Ensign — W. S. Long. 

Sergeant-Majors — John H. Johnston, Alexander S. Webb, E. D. 

Quartermaster-Sergeant — Isham G. Cheatham. 

Ordnance-Sergeant — Robert J. Powell. 

Commissary-Sergeant — D. F. Whitehead. 

Chaplains — John H. Tillinghast, Richard G. Webb. 

Surgeons — William T. Sutton, J. A. Bynum. 

Assistant Surgeons — J. A. Bynum, William J. Green. 

Quartermasters — William R. Beasley, William L. Cherry. 

Commissary — Abram Cox. 

Company A — Captains — Tazewell L. Hargrove, Elkanah E. Lyon, 
Robt. L. Rice. 

First Lieutenant — Elkanah E. Lyon, Robert L. Rice, Richard G. 
Sneed, A. J. Ellis. 

Second Lieutenants — Robert L. Rice, William R. Beasley, John 

B. Tucker, Richard G. Sneed, Robert Winship Stedman. 
Enlisted men, 148. 

Company B — Captains — Elisha Cromwell, Baker W. Mabry, 
Robert C. Brown. 

First Lieutenants — Baker W. Mabry, Robert C. Brown, Thomas 
M. Carter. 

Second Lieutenants — Thomas M. Carter, Robert C. Brown, 
Charles D. Mabry, Elisha C. Knight. 

Enlisted men, 135. 

Company C. — Captains — William L. Cherry, Macon G. Cherry. 

First Lieutenants — Abram Cox, Andrew M. Thigpen, Samuel V. 

Second Lieutenants — Andrew M. Thigpen, Macon G. Cherry, 
Samuel V. Williams, Reuben E. Mayo, Samuel Tappen. 

Enlisted men, 131. 

Company D — Captain — L. R. Anderson. 

336 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

First Lieutenants — Cornelius Stephens, John S. Easton. 

Second Lieutenants — John S. Easton, James M. Perkins, George 
W. Parker, Thomas King. 

Enlisted men, 116. 

Company E — Captains — R. C. Cotten, Charles M. Stedman, James 
T. Phillips, John J. Crump. 

First Lieutenants — Charles M. Stedman, James T. Phillips, John 
J. Crump, N. B. Hilliard. 

Second Lieutenants — R. C. Cotten, Jr., James T. Phillips, John 
J. Crump, Thos. B. Long, N. B. Hilliard, C. C. Goldson, S. J. Tally. 

Enlisted men, 183. 

By reason of his health Lieutenant Thomas B. Long resigned in 
July, 1862. He was a most accomplished officer; brave, competent 
and true, he was respected by all. 

Company F. — Captains — David B. DeBerry, John C. Gaines. 

First Lieutenants — John C. Gaines, John C. Montgomery. 

Second Lieutenants — John C. Montgomery, Alexander M. Rus- 
sell, Geo. W. Montgomery. 

Enlisted men, 127. 

Company G. — Captain — Robert Bingham. 

First Lieutenant — S. H. Workman. 

Second Lieutenants — George S. Cobb, James W. Compton, Fred. 
N. Dick, Thomas H. Norwood. 

Enlisted men, 129. 

Company H. — Captains — William D. Moffitt, James T. Town- 
send, R. W. Singletary. 

First Lieutenants— James T. Townsend, William H. Carter, 
Thomas H. Norwood. 

Second Lieutenants — Daniel L. McMillan, R. W. Singletary, 
Moses Haywood, E. A. Moffitt, R. W. Dupree. 

Enlisted men, 141. 

Company I. — Captains — Downing H. Smith, John R. Roach. 

First Lieutenants — J. J. Bland, John R. Roach. 

Second Lieutenants — John R. Roach, John A. Jackson, J. M. 

Enlisted men, 120. 

Company K. — Captains — Rhett R. L. Lawrence, W. P. Oldham. 

First Lieutenants — Joseph W. Howard, W. P. Oldham. 

Second Lieutenants — David Yarborough, Bedford Brown, J. H. 
Johnson, A. S. Webb, Joseph J. Leonard, Rufus Starke. 

Enlisted men, 144. 

The Forty-fourth N. C. Infantry. 337 

On May 19, 1862, the regiment was ordered to Tarboro, North 
Carolina, thence it proceeded to Greenville, North Carolina, and for 
a few weeks was engaged in outpost and picket duty in that section 
of the State, during which time it participated in no affair of conse- 
quence, save the skirmish at Tranter's Creek, which, though other- 
wise unimportant, was to the regiment most unfortunate, in that its 
accomplished commander lost his life. 

From eastern North Carolina the regiment was ordered to Virginia 
and there assigned to the brigade of General J. Johnston Pettigrew, 
one of the very ablest commanders of the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia. Not only the 44th regiment, but the entire brigade, which 
consisted of five regiments — the nth North Carolina, the 26th North 
Carolina, the 44th North Carolina, the 47th North Carolina, and the 
52nd North Carolina, felt the impress of his soldierly qualities. It 
-was ever a matter of regret to the officers and men of the regiment 
that no opportunity was offered them of manifesting their apprecia- 
tion of his great qualities by their conduct on the battlefield under 
his immediate command. The other regiments of his "brigade were 
with him at Gettysburg and contributed to his imperishable renown 
by their steadfast valor, but the 44th North Carolina whilst en route, 
was halted at Hanover Junction, Virginia, to guard the railroad con- 
nections there entering, and thus protecting General Lee's commu- 
nications with Richmond. Colonel T. C. Singletary with two 
companies, remained at the Junction. Major Charles M. Stedman, 
with four companies, commanded north of the Junction and the 
bridges of the Fredericksburg, and of the Central (now C. & O.), 
Railroad across the South Anna and the Little River, four in number, 
were entrusted to Lieutenant-Colonel Hargrove, who posted one 
company at each bridge, remaining personally with Company A, at 
Central's bridge, across the South Anna, the post of the greatest 

On the morning of the 26th of June, 1863, the Federal troops, 
consisting of the nth Pennsylvania Cavalry, two companies of a 
California cavalry regiment and two pieces of artillery, about 1,500 
all included, commanded by Colonel, afterwards General Spear, ap- 
peared before Lieutenant-Colonel Hargrove and his small force of 
forty men, stationed in a breastwork on the south side of the river, 
built to be manned by not less than 400 men. Before Colonel Spear 
made his first attack, Lieutenant-Colonel Hargrove abandoned the 
breastwork as being entirely untenable by so small a force, fell back 
to the north side of the river, posted his men under cover along the 

338 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

river bank, and for two hours successfully resisted repeated efforts to 
capture the bridge by direct assault, although assailed by a force 
outnumbering his own at least thirty-five to one. Failing in a direct 
attack, Colonel Spear sent 400 men across the river by an old ford, 
under cover of a violent assault in front from the south, and was 
about to assail Lieutenant-Colonel Hargrove in his rear, which was 
entirely unprotected, when Company G, consisting of forty men, 
having been ordered from Central bridge over the river at Taylors- 
ville, more than three miles distant, arrived and occupied the breast- 
work north of the river, at its intersection with the railroad, and 
about 200 yards from the bridge, thus protecting the rear of Com- 
pany A. Company G had scarcely got into position when the 
charge of 400 cavalry, intended for the unprotected rear of Company 
A, was delivered against Company G, protected by the breastwork, 
and was repulsed, as were two other charges made at intervals of 
about fifteen minutes, while attacks were made simultaneously on 
Company A, from across the river with like results. 

During a lull in the fighting, the Federal force on the north side, 
was reinforced by 400 men, and an assault on both Companies A and 
G was (at the same time) ordered. Colonel Spear crossed the river 
and ordered the attack made up the river bank against Company 
G's unprotected right, and Company A's unprotected left flank, at 
the abutment of the bridge. The enormous odds prevailed, but 
only after a most desperate and hand to hand conflict, with pistol, 
sabre and bayonet, in which Confederates and Federals were com- 
mingled. In the final assault Company A lost half of its men. The 
loss of Company G was not heavy. The Federal loss exceeded the 
entire number of Confederate troops engaged. Colonel Spear re- 
treated after burning one bridge instead of four. He stated in the 
presence of his own command and that of Lieut. Col. Hargrove, 
that " the resistance made by the Confederates was the most stub- 
born he had known during, the war; that he supposed that he was 
fighting 400 infantry instead of eighty, and that his expedition had 
entirely failed of its object, which was to cut General Lee's commu- 
nications with Richmond." No more gallant fight was made during 
the entire Civil War, than by Lieutenant-Colonel Hargrove's com- 
mand. He won the admiration of both friend and foe by his personal 
gallantry, and only surrendered when overpowered and taken by 
sheer physical force. 

General Pettigrew having been mortally wounded on the retreat 
from Gettysburg, Colonel William W. Kirkland, of the 21st North Car- 

The Forty-fourth N. C. Infantry. 339 

olina regiment, was promoted to Brigadier-General, and assigned to 
the command of Pettigrew's brigade, about the ioth of August, 


The brigade left camp at Rapidan station, where it had been in 
cantonment, on the 8th of October, 1863, and marched rapidly with 
a view of engaging General Meade at Culpeper Courthouse. Gen- 
eral Meade fell back and avoided a conflict at Culpeper Courthouse, 
but was overtaken at Bristoe station. Here on the 14th of October, 
1863, a bloody and disastrous engagement was precipitated between 
Cooke's and Kirkland's brigades, and the bulk of Warren's corps, 
supported by a powerful artillery with a railroad embankment as a 
fortification. In this fight, so inopportune and ill-advised and not at 
all in accordance with the views of General Lee, the 44th regiment 
greatly distinguished itself. Advancing through an open held di- 
rectly upon the line of fortifications of the Federal artillery, it sus- 
tained a heavy loss without flinching. Three different couriers rode 
up to the regiment and delivered a message to fall back. The order 
was disregarded and the regiment moved steadily on under heavy 
fire of both artillery and infantry, and when close upon the works, 
with the shout of victory in the air, only retreated under peremptory 
orders from Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill. The loss of the regi- 
ment in this engagement in killed and wounded was large. This 
was the first time the conduct of the regiment fell under the observa- 
tion of Colonel Wm. MacRae, of the 15th North Carolina Regiment, 
and afterwards its brigade commander. He was struck with admi- 
ration at the splendid conduct of the men, and often afterwards re- 
ferred to their steady valor upon the field. It endeared the regiment 
to him, for he loved brave men, and it became his habit to frequently 
place himself with the colors of the regiment, for, said he, " If I am 
with the 44th regiment and am lost, I shall always be found in the 
fore-front of the fighting." 


General Lee, having received information that General Grant had 
commenced the passage of the Rapidan on the night of the 3rd of 
May, 1864, broke up his cantonments on the 4th, and prepared to 
meet him. The 44th North Carolina, with Kirkland's brigade, left 
camp near Orange Courthouse on the 4th, and bivouacked the same 
night at Verdiersville, about nine miles from the battlefield of the 

340 Southern .Historical Society Papers. 

Wilderness. Two roads led in parallel lines through the dense 
thicket which gave its name to the territory upon which the battle 
was fought. One was known as the Orange Plank Road, and the 
other as the Turnpike. The 44th marched by way of the Plank 
Road, and became heavily engaged about 2 o'clock of the afternoon 
of the 5th. The right rested immediately upon the Plank Road, 
and next in line to it, with its left on the road, was the 26th North 
Carolina regiment. This immediate locality was the storm centre of 
the fight, and it is doubtful if any more violent and sanguinary con- 
test occurred during the entire Civil War than just here. The road 
was swept by an incessant hurricane of fire, and to attempt to cross 
it meant almost certain death. It was at this point of the line that 
three pieces of Confederate artillery were seriously menaced with 
capture. The horses belonging to the guns had all been killed and 
disabled, whilst the gunners were subjected to an incessant and mur- 
derous fire. 

Lieutenant R. W. Stedman, of Co. A, volunteered to drag the 
guns down the road, out of danger, if a detail of forty men were 
furnished. Forty men immediately stepped to his side and said they 
would follow him, although they all knew the effort was full of peril. 
The work was done successfully, but only three of the volunteers 
escaped unhurt. Lieutenant Stedman was severely wounded by a 
grape shot. For his personal gallantry in this action he was honor- 
ably mentioned in high terms of praise in an official order from divi- 
sion headquarters. The loss of the regiment in the engagements of 
the 5th and 6th was exceedingly heavy; a large proportion of its 
officers were killed and wounded; amongst the latter the major of 
the regiment. Both officers and men won the special commendation 
of brigade and division commanders. On the 8th the regiment 
moved with the brigade towards Spotsylvania Courthouse. On the 
10th Heth's and Anderson's divisions, commanded by Early, had a 
serious conflict with a portion of Grant's army, which was attempt- 
ing to flank General Lee by what was called the Po River road. In 
this engagement the 44th suffered severely and fought with its accus- 
tomed valor. 

Captain J. J. Crump, of Co. E, elicited by his conduct warm 
commendation from the General commanding. 


On the 1 2th the regiment was assigned its position directly in front 
of Spotsylvania Court House, and was in support of a strong force 

The Forty-fourth N. C Infantry. 341 

of Confederate artillery. Repeatedly during the day it was charged 
by the Federal columns, their advance always being heralded and 
covered by a heavy artillery fire. Every assault was repulsed with 
great loss to the assailants, whose advance was greeted by loud 
cheers from the 44th regiment, many of the men leaping on the 
earthworks and fighting from under cover. The loss during this en- 
gagement was comparatively slight. The major commanding the 
regiment, was again wounded, and sent to a hospital in Richmond, 
and was not able to rejoin his regiment until a few days before the 
battle at Ream's Station: 

The regiment participated in all the engagements in which its 
brigade took part, from Spotsylvania Court House to Petersburg, 
constantly skirmishing and fighting as Grant continued his march on 
Lee's flank. On the 3d of June, 1864, it was heavily engaged with 
the enemy near Gaines' Mill. In this fight, General W. W. Kirk- 
land, commanding the brigade, was wounded. Pursuing its march 
and almost daily skirmishing, the regiment reached Petersburg on 
on the 24th day of June, 1864, and commenced the desultory and 
dreary work of duty in the trenches. During the latter part of July, 
1864, the regiment left Petersburg for Stoney Creek, and whilst on 
the march, Colonel William MacRae, of the 15th North Carolina 
regiment, joined the brigade and assumed command, under orders. 
This gallant officer was promoted to the rank of brigadier-general in 
August, 1864, and from that time, never left the brigade, of which 
the 44th was a part, until the last day at Appomattox. From Stoney 
Creek, the regiment returned to Petersburg. 

ream's station. 

The regiment bore its part with conspicuous good conduct in the 
brilliant engagement at Ream's station, on the 25th of August, 1864. 

Upon the investment of Petersburg, the possession of the Weldon 
road became of manifest importance, as it was Lee's main line of 
communication with the South, whence he drew his men and sup- 
plies. On the 1 8th of August, 1864, General G. K. Warren, with the 
5th corps of Grant's army and Kautz's division of cavalry, occupied 
the line of the Weldon road at a point six miles from Petersburg. 
An attempt was made to dislodge them from this position on the 
21st, but the effort failed. Emboldened by Warren's success, Han- 
cock was ordered from Deep creek bottom to Ream's station, ten 
miles from Petersburg. He arrived there on the 22nd and promptly 
commenced the destruction of the railroad track. His infantry force 

342 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

consisted of Gibbons' and Miles' divisions, and in the afternoon of 
the 25th he was reinforced by the division of Orlando B. Wilcox, 
which, however, arrived too late to be of any substantial service to 
him. Gregg's division of cavalry with an additional brigade com- 
manded by Spear, was with him. He had abundant artillery, con- 
sisting in part of the 10th Massachusetts battery, Battery B, 1st 
Rhode Island, McNight's 12th New York battery, and Woemer's 
3rd New Jersey battery. 

On the 22nd Gregg was assailed by Wade Hampton with one of 
his cavalry divisions, and a sharp contest ensued. General Hampton, 
from the battlefield of the 22nd, sent a note to General R. E. Lee, 
suggesting an immediate attack with infantry. That great com- 
mander, realizing that a favorable opportunity was offered to strike 
Hancock a heavy blow, directed Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill to 
advance against him as promptly as possible. General Hill left his 
camp near Petersburg on the night of the 24th, and marching south 
halted near Armstrong's Mill, about eight miles from Petersburg. 
On the morning of the 25th he advanced to Monk's Neck Bridge, 
three miles from Ream's station, and awaited advice from Hampton. 
The Confederate force actually present at Ream's station, consisted 
of Cooke's and MacRae's brigades of Heth's divisions, Lane's, 
Scales' and McGowan's brigades of Wilcox's division, Anderson's 
brigade of Longstreet's corps, two brigades of Mahone's division, 
Butler's and W. H. F. Lee's division of cavalry, and a portion of 
Pegram's battalion of artillery. 

Being the central regiment of the brigade, MacRae's line of battle 
was formed on it, as was customary. Just previous to the assault 
upon General Hancock's command, the regiment was posted in the 
edge of a pine thicket, about 300 yards from the breastworks held by 
the Federal troops. W T hen the order was given to advance, the men 
threw themselves forward at a double-quick in a line as straight and 
unbroken as they presented when on parade, and without firing a 
gun, mounted the entrenchments and precipated themselves amongst 
the Federal infantry on the other side, who seemed to be dazed by 
the vehemence of the attack, and made a feeble resistance after their 
ranks were reached. 

A battery of artillery captured by the regiment, was turned upon 
the retreating columns of the enemy. It was manned by sharp- 
shooters of the 44th, who had been trained in artillery practice. 
Captain Oldham, of Company K, sighted one of the guns repeat- 
edly, and when he saw the effect of his accurate aim upon the dis- 

The Forty-fourth N~. C. Infantry. 343 

armed masses in. front, was so jubilant, that General MacRae, with 
his usual quiet humor, remarked: " Oldham thinks he is at a ball in 

The Federal loss in this battle was between six and seven hundred 
killed and wounded, and 2, 150 prisoners, 3,100 stands of small arms, 
twelve stands of colors, nine guns and caissons. The Confederate 
loss was small, and fell principally upon Lane's brigade; it did not 
exceed 500 in killed and wounded. The casualties in the 44th regi- 
ment were trifling, as well as other regiments of the brigade, as 
Hancock's men in its front fired wildly above the mark, being badly 
demoralized by the fire of the Confederate artillery, under cover of 
which MacRae' s men advanced to the assault. 

James Forrest, who carried the colors of the regiment, became 
famous for his chivalrous devotion to the flag, and his gallantry upon 
every field. 

On the night of the 22nd of August, 1864, the regiment returned 
with MacRae' s Brigade to its position on the line of entrenchments 
at Petersburg, held by General Lee's right, and continued to per- 
form the routine of duties incident to such a life until the 27th day 
of October, 1864. 

burgess' mill. 

The enemy having forced back our cavalry, and penetrated to a 
point on our right known as Burgess' Mill, on the 27th of October, 
1864, General MacRae was ordered to attack, with the understanding 
that he should be promptly reinforced by one or more brigades. 
Reconnoitering the enemy's position, he pointed out at once the 
weak part of their line to several officers who were with him and or- 
dered his brigade to the assault. It bore down everything in its 
front, capturing a battery of artillery, and dividing the corps which 
it had assailed. The Federal commander, seeing that MacRae was 
not supported, closed in upon his flanks and attacked with great 
vigor. Undismayed by the large force which surrounded him, and 
unwilling to surrender the prize of victory already within his grasp, 
MacRae formed a portion of his command obliquely to his main line 
of battle, driving back the foe at every point, whilst the deafening 
shouts and obstinate fighting of his brigade showed their entire con- 
fidence in their commander, although every man of them knew their 
situation to be critical, and their loss had already been great. Await- 
ing reinforcements, which long since ought to have been with him, 
he held his vantage ground at all hazards, and against enormous 

344 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

odds. No help came whilst his men toiled, bled, and died. Ap- 
proaching night told him that the safety of his brigade demanded 
that he return to his original position. Facing his men about, they 
cut their way through a new line of battle which had partially formed 
in their rear. In this encounter the 44th North Carolina bore a 
brilliant part; it drove the Federal line, everywhere in its front, 
steadily to the rear. Lieutenant R. W. Stedman, of Company A, 
with less than fifty men, charged and captured a battery of artillery 
which was supported by a considerable force of infantry. This bat- 
tery was disabled and left, as it was impossible to bring it off the field 
when the regiment was ordered to return to the position it occupied 
at the commencement of the fight. The affair at Burgess' Mill was 
marred by the misunderstanding of his orders by an officer in high 
rank, by which he failed to reinforce as instructed, General MacRae, 
causing a heavy loss to his brigade. 

From Burgess' Mill the regiment again returned to its old position 
in the entrenchments at Petersburg. On the 2nd of April, 1865, 
the Confederate lines having been pierced and broken through, the 
regiment under orders commenced its retreat towards Amelia Court- 
house, which place it reached on the 4th of April. Its line of march 
was marked by constant and bloody engagements with the Federal 
troops, which followed in close pursuit but who were entirely unable 
to produce the slightest demoralization or panic. At Sutherlin's 
station the fight was severe. On the night of the 5th it left Amelia 
Courthouse and reached Appomattox on the morning of the 9th, 
where, together with the bleeding remnants of the Army of Northern 
Virginia it stacked its arms, and its career was ended. 

The " esprit de corps' 1 of the regiment was of the very highest 
order. Neither disease, famine nor scenes of horror well calculated 
to freeze the hearts of the bravest ever conquered its iron spirit. The 
small remnant who survived the trials of the retreat from Petersburg, 
and who left a trail of blood along their weary march from its 
abandoned trenches to Appomattox Courthouse, were as eager and 
ready for the fray on that last memorable day as when with full ranks 
and abundant support they drove the Federal troops before them in 
headlong flight on other fields. This spirit especially manifested 
itself in the love of the regiment for its flag, which was guarded by 
all its members with chivalrous devotion and which was never lost or 
captured on any field. The first flag was carried from the commence- 
ment of its campaign until about January 1, 1865, when a new one 
was presented in its stead, for the reason that so much of the old 
flag had been shot away that it could not be distinctly seen by other 

The Forty-fourth N. C. Infantry. 345 

regiments during brigade drills, and as the 44th was always made the 
central regiment, upon which the others of the brigade dressed in 
line of battle, as well as on parade, a new flag had become a necessity. 

The new battle flag was carried by Color Sergeant George Barber, 
of Co. G. until the night of April 1st, 1865, when crossing the Ap- 
pomattox, he wrapped a stone in it and dropped it in the river, saying 
to his comrades about him, " No enemy can ever have a flag of the 
44th North Carolina Regiment." The wonderful power which the 
high order of "esprit de corps" exerted for good amongst the offi- 
cers and men, is illustrated by an incident which is worthy to be 
recorded amidst the feats of heroes. 

A private by the name of Tilman, in the regiment, had on several 
occasions attracted General MacRae's favorable attention and, at his 
request, was attached to the color guard. Tilman's name was also 
honorably mentioned in the orders of the day from brigade head- 

Soon thereafter, in front of Petersburg, the regiment became 
severely engaged with the enemy and suffered heavy loss. The flag 
several times fell, as its bearers were shot down in quick succession. 
Tilman seized it and again carried it to the front. It was but an 
instant and he, too, fell. As one of his comrades stooped to raise 
the flag again, the dying soldier touched him, and in tones made 
weak by the approach of death, said, " Tell the General I died with 
the flag." The tender*memories and happy associations connected 
with his boyhood's home faded from his vision as he rejoiced in the 
consciousness that he had proved himself worthy of the trust which 
had been confided to him. 

The old battle flag of the regiment, tattered and torn by ball and 
shell, its staff riddled and its folds in shreds, was presented to Mrs. 
Delia Worth Bingham, wife of Captain Robert Bingham, Co. G, by 
the Major commanding, as a mark of respect and esteem in behalf 
of officers and men to a woman who had won their affectionate re- 
gard, and whose husband had ever followed it with fidelity and forti- 
tude upon every field where it waved. Captain Bingham, whose 
home is in Asheville, N. C. , still has it in his possession. 

Its folds shall become mouldy with the lapse of years. The time 
will come when the civil war shall only be remembered as a shadow 
of days long passed, but the memories of the great deeds of the sons 
of Carolina who followed that flag, and who sleep in unknown graves 
upon the fields of Northern Virginia, shall survive unshaken amidst 
the ruins of time. 

146 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


A Tribute to the Memory of the Gallant and Accomplished 



A Monument Proposed to be Erected over his Remains in Hollywood 
Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. 

For years as he lay helpless on a bed of physical anguish, which 
was only partially alleviated by opiates, the fortitude with which 
the accomplished gentleman and gallant soldier bore his constant 
suffering, was as pathetic as his gallantry in the field had been im- 
pressive. The representative of a family long seated in the State, 
an ancestor, William Colston, having been for years the clerk of 
Richmond county in the Seventeeth century, in General Colston 
were united the traits of the Virginian which are held in such regard. 

General Colston was twice married. His first wife was Louise M. 
Gardiner, the widowed daughter of Captain John Bowyer, of 
" Thornhill," near Lexington, Rockbridge county, Virginia. Of 
this union two daughters survive: Mrs. Louise E., wife of Captain 
James D. Ragland, of Petersburg, Virginia, and Mrs. Mary F., wife 
of Captain A. D. Lippitt, of Wilmington, North Carolina. 

The spirit of good-will and charity which pervaded his being in the 
last days of his pilgrimage, is manifested in his own words which 
preface an address of his which was published in Vol. XXI, of the 
Southern Historical Society Papers, pp. 38-49: 

" Prejudices on both sides have melted away and there are now no 
better friends than those who fought each other in the blue and gray. 
Mr. Beecher's prophecy proved conspicuously false, and all the 
Southern land is now dotted with monuments growing more numer- 
ous each year, erected to the memory of her fallen heroes. Peace 
has made us in many respects the most powerful nation in the world, 
and the most prosperous. 

11 We shall always cherish the memory of our struggle, which was 
inevitable, and in which we acted our part honorably and gloriously; 
and now looking to the future and realizing the magnificent destiny 
placed before us and our children, as one people, with one country, 
and one flag, we accept the verdict of Fate, and say: It it well! " 

General Raleigh K Colston, C. S. Army. 347 

The virtues of General Colston endeared him to a wide circle of 
friends. Some of them in this city have expressed the desire that a 
suitable monument be raised by subscription over his remains, which 
rest in our beautiful Hollywood Cemetary, and that a portrait in oil 
of him be added to the appealing collection of Southern Chieftains, 
which now grace the walls of the Hall of R. E. Lee Camp, No. i, of 
Confederate Veterans in this city. The zeal which impelled Captain 
John E. Laughton, Jr., now Commander of the Camp, as Chairman 
of the Committee, to secure these portraits, cannot be too highly com- 
mended. All desiring to aid toward the objects stated, may send 
their subscriptions to Captain Laughton, who will duly acknowledge 


The members of the Confederate Veterans' Association of the 
District of Columbia, in regular meeting assembled, January 21, 
1897, unanimously resolved: 

1. That we mourn the death of our beloved and honored comrade 
Raleigh Edward Colston. 

General Colston was born of Virginia parentage in the city of 
Paris, France, on October 31, 1825. In the year 1842, when seven- 
teen years old, he came to America with a passport as a citizen of 
the United .States issued by the American Minister, General Lewis 
Cass. In July, 1843, ne entered the Virginia Military Institute as a 
cadet, and graduated in 1846. He was at once employed as assis- 
tant teacher of French. He was afterwards elected professor of 
French, and in the year 1859 ne was a ^ so elected professor of mili- 
tary history and strategy, and of political economy, at his alma 
mater. During the twelve years which elapsed between his gradua- 
tion and this last promotion, Professor Colston was a diligent and 
successful student, in almost every department of human knowledge. 
He became master of many languages, and familiar with their litera- 
ture. He was expert in mathematics and the physical sciences, 
especially those most useful in war. 

In April, 1861, by order of the Governor of Virginia he marched 
in command of the corps of cadets from Lexington to Richmond, 
where he, and his cadets were for sometime emploved in drilling and 
setting up as soldiers, the recruits who were assembling for the war. 

In May, 1861, he was commissioned as colonel of the 16th Regi- 
ment of Virginia Infantry then stationed at Norfolk. In December, 

348 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

1 86 1, he was commissioned as brigadier-general, and assigned to the 
command of a military district extending from Smithfield, Va., to 
Weldon, N. C, and including 15,000 troops. In April, 1862, he 
and his brigade were, upon his request, ordered to Yorktown, Va., 
to reinforce General Magruder. He participated in numerous assaults 
and skirmishes on the peninsula, and in the battles of Williamsburg 
and Seven Pines. 

In June, 1862, General Colston was stricken down with a severe 
attack of fever and jaundice, from which he did not recover until the 
following December; when he reported for duty and was assigned to 
the command of a brigade of Southwestern Virginians, and was or- 
dered to Petersburg. 

In April, 1863, by request of Stonewall Jackson, who had been 
for ten years his colleague in the faculty of the Virginia Military In- 
stitute, and knew him well, General Colston was assigned to the 
command of a brigade in Trimble's division, of Jackson's corps. 

At Chancellorsville, at 6 o'clock P. M., May 2, 1863, the hour 
when Stonewall Jackson ordered his corps of 26,000 men to disclose 
their presence in rear of the rignt flank of General Hooker's grand 
army, Jackson's command was formed, with Rodes' division in front, 
Trimble's division under Colston (Trimble being disabled), in the 
second line two yards in the rear, and A. P. Hill's division in sup- 
porting distance in column. At the word, the "men burst with a 
cheer upon the startled enemy, and like a disciplined thunderbolt, 
swept down his line and captured cannon before they could be re- 
versed to fire." "Rodes, who led with so much spirit, said, that 
the enemy taken in flank and rear, did not wait for an attack. Col- 
ston's division followed so rapidly, that it went over the enemy's 
work at Lodall's Tavern with Rodes' troops, and both divisions 
fought with mixed ranks until dark." These extracts are from 
General Fitzhugh Lee's life of General Lee, in which he gives a 
graphic and picturesque account of this great event, which rounded 
out and finished the career of Stonewall Jackson. 

Colston was, on duty, possibly a little impetuous. 

After the death of Jackson, General Colston was ordered to report 
to General Beaureguard, and was placed in command of a brigade of 
Georgians at Savannah, and also in command of the defences of St. 
Augustine river. He was appreciated as a scientific soldier. 

In the spring of 1 864, when General Butler landed at City Point 
and threatened Petersburg, General Colston was ordered to Peters- 
burg, where he remained in command of the lines south of the 

General Raleigh E. Colston, C. S. Army. 349 

Appomattox until General Lee came with the Army of Northern 
Virginia. During that period General Colston kept the enemy at 
bay, and repelled several assaults upon our lines; in one of which 
his horse was shot. 

In August, 1864, he was placed in command of the city of Lynch- 
burg, and ordered to strengthen its defences. There he remained 
on duty until after the surrender, holding the city committed to his 

In every field of duty General Colston served with distinguished 
gallantry, fidelity and ability. 

After the war he was without resources, except his intellect, attain- 
ments and character. He delivered lectures in Baltimore, Richmond, 
Raleigh and other cities, on the life and character of his colleague, 
friend and commander, Stonewall Jackson. Later he established in 
Wilmington, N. C, a military academy in the midst of the officers 
and men whose brigade commander he had once been, and conducted 
it successfully until March, 1873, when he accepted military service 
under the Khedive of Egypt, as one of his general staff, with a rank 
equivalent to that of colonel, to aid in the organization and discipline 
of his army. 

Colston continued in that service until 1879, when he resigned; 
England having assumed control of Egypt and required the Khe- 
dive to reduce his army and discharge his American officers. Dur- 
ing that period he commanded two expeditions of great importance 
sent for the exploration of the great south country lying between Egypt 
and the equator. The first occupied him from October, 1873, to 
May, 1874; the second from 1874 to 1876. His services in these ex- 
peditions, for which his scientific attainments, and his capacity and 
experience as a soldier eminently fitted him, were very valuable and 
were highly appreciated by his government. To attest the esteem 
and honor in which General Colston was held, the Khedive obtained 
for him from the Sultan, the firman and decoration of "Knight 
Commander of the Turkish Imperial Order of the Osmanieh;" a 
distinction which is never granted except for eminent and merito- 
rious public services. 

During the last expedition he was called upon to exhibit the high- 
est virtues which ever adorn mankind. Marching with his command 
over deserts of sand, hundreds of miles in extent, with watering- 
places distant four or five days journey apart, under the burning rays 
of a tropical sun, and in a temperature reaching sometimes 160 de- 
grees, General Colston became ill. He was also thrown from his 

350 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

camel and injured by the fall. The result was paralysis of his legs, 
accompanied with great pain about the region of his liver. He 
could neither walk nor ride. But his intellect was bright, and his 
spirit undaunted. He was carried hundreds of miles across deserts 
in a litter supported on the shoulders of four Arab soldiers, who 
were relieved every half hour. He always remembered affection- 
ately these strange, but kind and gentle men who were detailed for 
the duty. 

The surgeon advised and insisted that he should turn over the 
command to the next in rank, and go direct to Cairo for proper at- 
tention and treatment. He refused. He was the only American 
left with the force; had been obliged to send one home to Cairo on 
account of his illness, but he had been notified that the government 
had sent another American officer by another route to meet him at 
El Obeid hundreds of miles away. He knew that if he gave up, the 
expedition would be a failure, and the American staff would be dis- 
credited in Egypt. He declared his purpose to remain in command, 
and march (in the litter) with his army until he could meet the offi- 
cer sent out to relieve him. When at El Obeid he turned over the 
command to Major Prout, Colston was wholly paralyzed from his 
waist down, and was given up to die by the attending surgeons. 
Reaction and relaxation, following relief from the tension of so great 
responsibility, would probably have been fatal to most men under 
the circumstances. But his vigorous constitution, cherished by habits 
of virtuous life, and his indomitable pluck enabled him to rally. 
After remaining at El Obeid for six months in the care of an order 
of charitable sisters, he got well enough to be carried to Khartoum, 
300 miles across the desert, in a litter rigged up between two camels. 

" Courage and constancy; steadfast to the last." These immortal 
words of Lee addressed to his army, doubtless recurred to Colston's 
memory, and helped to sustain him in his dire distress. 

General Colston brought back to America a considerable sum of 
money in gold, the savings of his Egyptian pav — enough probably 
to satisfy his modest wants for life. Some of his friends in Wall 
street undertook to make a great fortune for him, and he lost it all. 
Thrown again upon his own personal resources, he delivered lectures 
and wrote for magazines on subjects with which his great learning 
and large experience had made him familiar. In the year 1882 he 
was offered the professorship of natural philosophy, mechanics and 
astronomy in the Virginia Military Institute. This was a great temp- 
tation. It offered him a berth for life, with most congenial surround- 

General Raleigh E. Colston, C. S. Army. 351 

ings. But he declined the offer, because, he said, he did not con- 
sider himself competent to teach astronomy, as it ought to be taught 
there. He had not made a specialty of astronomy. 

Modesty, self-sacrifice, conscientiousness, absolute truthfulness, 
virtues which adorned his whole life, attained supreme radiance 

In August, 1882, he was appointed a clerk in the Surgeon-Gen- 
eral's library division of the War Department. He discharged his 
duties so well, that for several years after he became unable to go 
to the office, his work was sent to him to be performed in his bed- 
room. In May, 1894, ne was removed on account of his physical 
disability. Thrown again upon the world absolutely penniless, his 
spirit was bright as ever. He never murmured. 

Then the Confederate Soldiers' Home at Richmond, Virginia, 
threw wide its doors. His veteran comrades opened their arms and 
hearts, and said: " Come to us beloved and honored friend, and be 
our guest." And there, with the light of love, friendship, and ad- 
miration shining all about him, he passed the painful remnant of his 
days. He was not debtor. He gave more than he received. To 
the last, amid all his suffering, he was bright, cheerful, witty, and 
charming. To the many who gladly sought his company, he gave 
knowledge, instruction, and entertainment; and more than all, the 
pleasure of the sweet and edifying society of a lovely man. 

He died on July 29, 1896, and was buried with military honors. 

2. Resolved, That we remember with gratitude, pride, and pleas- 
ure, his exalted character, his pure and manly life, and we cherish 
the remembrance. 

3. Resolved, That our sorrow is not without hope. He served 
his generation faithfully and well. He lived unselfish, died poor, and 
entered with clean hands the court of divine equity. 

4. Resolved, That these resolutions be spread upon the minutes, 
and copies thereof sent to the daughters of the deceased. 

(Signed.) R. B. Lewis, 

President Confederate Vetej'an Association, 

Washington, D. C. 
(Attest.) Chas. C. Ivey, 

Secretary C. V. A. 
February 4, i8qj. 

352 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Ode to the Confederate Soldiers' Monument in Oakdale 
Cemetery, Wilmington, N. C. 

Dedicated to the Ladies' Memorial Association, of Wilmington, N. C. 

By General R. E. Colston. 

This Ode was delivered at the Anniversary Supper of the 3rd Regiment 
Association, on May 10, 1872, in reply to the second regular toast: 


Erect upon a granite base 

He looks toward the glowing "West; 
How stern and sad his noble face, 

How watchful! — tho' he stands at rest. 

He seems to scan with steadfast gaze 

The foeman's dark'ning line of blue; 
Does he perceive across the haze 

The glancing bay' nets flashing through ? 

One hand with ev'ry clinched nerve 

Grips hard the gun o'er which he bends; 

The other hangs in graceful curve 

Which rounds the sinewy fingers' ends. 

Behold! — no carpet-knight is he, 

His manly grace is Nature's own; 
In ev'ry feature one may see 

The light that's caught from battle alone. 

His garments rough are old and worn, 

Hard used the shoes upon his feet, 
That belt and cartridge-box were borne 

In many a victory and retreat. 

Upon this soldier's stalwart form 

No stars, no bars to mark his grade, 
And on his modest uniform 

Not ev'n an humble worsted braid. 

He's but a private!— All unknown. 

He gives his strength, his blood, his life, 

Content to fall, obscure, alone, 
Unheeded in the deadly strife. 

Ode to " Out Dead." 353 

What flag, what State his fealty claim ? 

"C. S." upon his belting's plate, 
" N. C." upon his cap, proclaim 

The soldier of the "Old North State." 

Oh who stands here ? Whose image this, 

Instinct with life tho' cast in bronze ? — 
The type so true, so vivid is 

That ev'ry heart at once responds: 

" I ought to know, I've seen that face, 

In fight, on march, by bivouac's flame, 
Tho' now I can't recall the place, 

Nor who he was, nor what his name. 

Yet sure, I know that shape, that head, 

Like half-forgotten friends they seem; 
No doubt he's numbered with the dead, 

But I have seen him, — 'tis no dream. 

O triumph of the Sculptor's skill 

Which thus could strike the magic chord, 
And cause the Southern heart to thrill 

And stir once more its mem'ries' hoard! 

This man of bronze, we know right well, 

We greet his grave, familiar face, 
And thus, we do confess the spell 

Of Genius, — king of time and space. 

For in this wondrous work of Art 

A form was giv'n by plastic hand 
To the Ideal of our heart, 

The Soldier-Type of Southern land! 

And in this pile that towers above 

And lifts its crest toward the sky, 
Forever shine true woman's love 

And constant faith which ne'er can die. 

O soldier of perennial bronze 

Erect upon the granite gray, 
Stand at thy post, till from Death's bonds 

Thy comrades burst, on Judgment Day. 


354 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, Jan. 20, 1898 ] 


The Anniversary very Generally Observed in Richmond. 


Many Veterans Gather in its Genial Glow — Captain R. S. Parks deliv- 
ers a Splendid Oration— Howitzers Salute the Monument. 

The anniversary of the birth of General Robert E. Lee was cele- 
brated in Richmond yesterday by the closing of the State and city 
offices, the banks, and many commercial institutions. Salutes were 
fired in honor of the event, and from the masthead of nearly every 
flagpole in the city, the colors of the Confederacy floated to the 

The holiday was generally observed. The particular celebrations 
of the anniversary, however, took place at the Soldier's Home, and 
at Lee Gamp, where orations were delivered, and carefully prepared 
programmes were carried out. A salute of seventeen guns was fired 
at the Home at noon, and a platoon of the Howitzers fired another 
salute at 5 o'clock beneath the shadow of the monument to the 
great General, erected in the western portion of the city. 


At night, Lee Camp kindled a camp-fire, the genial glow of 
which shed nothing but radiance and charm. Within the magic 
circle were gathered distinguished veterans from all over the State, 
and the guests of honor were the members of both houses of the 

The yearly celebration of the birthday of General Robert E. Lee, 
is the prime event in the calendar of the Camp, and no effort is 
spared to make it delightful and successful. All along the Southern 
lines, the camp-fires are lighted on each recurring January 19th, in 
honor of the great leader, but no lire burns more brightly than that 
of the Richmond camp, or attracts to it a more distinguished body 
of men. It was a night of great festivity; a genial and whole-souled 

General Lee's Birthday. 355 

hospitality was dispensed, and warm indeed was the welcome ex- 
tended to all who came to pay a tribute by their presence, to the 
memory of the dead chieftain. The feature of the evening was the 
address delivered by Captain R. S. Parks. It was received with un- 
bounded enthusiasm, and was said by many of those present to be 
the finest eulogy ever delivered within the walls of Lee Camp. 

Following the exercises came a social session of unrestrained mirth 
and good-fellowship. The good humor of the occasion was infec- 
tious and irresistible, and even old men, whose locks were hoary, 
and whose forms were bent with age, danced and sang, and seemed 
to grow young again. Old Southern melodies struck pleasantly on 
the ear, and the familiar songs were sung over and over again. 
Refreshments were served in great abundance, and the hour for 
parting came all too soon. 


It was nearly a quarter-past 8 o'clock when First-Lieutenant-Com- 
mander A. C. Peay, in the absence of Commander Laughton, called 
the assemblage to order, and in a few words recalled the ' ' sacred 
cause " which they had come together to celebrate. The doxology 
was sung by all, standing, after which Hon. J. Taylor Ellyson was 
called upon and offered a short, but fervent, prayer for a benediction 
upon those who had come together to commemorate the memory of 
their chieftain, and asked that they might follow his example, as he 
had endeavored to follow that of his Divine Master. 


The following telegram from the Confederate Veterans' Associa- 
tion, of Washington, D. C, was read and received with applause: 

Washington, D. C, January 19, 1898. 
R. E. Lee Camp, No. 1, Conjederate Veterans, Richmond^ Va.: 

The Confederate Veterans' Association of Washington assem- 
bled to honor the name of our great leader, General R. E. Lee, 
send loving greetings to their comrades of Richmond, and remember 
with them a vow to keep green his memory. 

Robert I. Fleming, 


Adjutant J. Taylor Stratton was instructed to telegraph the fol- 
lowing reply: 

856 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Richmond, Va., January 19, 1898. 

Colonel Robert I. Fleming, Preside?it Confederate 

Veterans' Association, Washington, D. C: 

R. E. Lee Camp, Confederate Veterans, reciprocates your kindly- 
greeting, and pledges eternal fidelity to the memory of our illustrious 

A. C. Peay, 
Lieutenant- Commander, Commanding. 


Captain Parks was then introduced as the orator of the evening, 
and was cordially received. After an appropriate introduction, he 
said : 

Borne on the rapid, tireless wings of time, nearly thirty-three 
years have passed since guns were stacked, flags were furled, and 
the Southern soldier, with heavy heart, turned his steps homeward. 
But with every recurring spring time, the people throughout the 
Southland, upon such days and at such places as may be fixed, meet 
together, strew the graves of the dead soldiers with flowers, each 
feeling that whatever part he may perform, he is engaged in a work 
made obligatory by a lofty sense of patriotism. Associations of va- 
rious names have been formed, all of which have for their object the 
commemoration of the Confederate dead, and the keeping green in 
the minds of the rising generation all that pertains to the struggle 
in which the blood of the South was poured out like water. Here 
we meet to-day in the far-famed city of Richmond, whose every 
street has been trodden by armed men, whose adjacent fields have 
been crimsoned by the blood of her sons, and whose historic hills 
have echoed and re-echoed with the scream of shot and shell as they 
sped on their mission of death, mingled with the shout of victory, 
or the yell of defiance. 


How suggestive such an occasion. These gatherings of the people 
of the South to decorate the graves of those who died in defence of 
the Southern cause, and to commemorate the deeds of valor of an 
army whose banners went down in an unsuccessful struggle, constitute 
the sublimest and yet most remarkable spectacle that the world has 
ever seen. Were these men rebels against constitutional govern- 

General Lee's Birthday. 357 

ment? If they were, then it would be treason in us to honor their 
memory; vindicate their principles, and praise their deeds. They 
were not rebels, and the world will yet know it, and accord to them 
their meed as patriots. 

For what did the South contend? Time would not suffice, nor 
would it be appropriate to give in detail the causes that led up to the 
war, nor to discuss the various issues that arose, which produced 
bittter feeling and stirred up sectional animosities. I assert that the 
South fought for the preservation of individual liberty and a right of 
local self-government, which we honestly believed were endangered 
by the usurpation of power by the Federal Government, and a ten- 
dency to centralization and the ultimate destruction of the autonomy 
of the States. 

The germ of free institutions is in the personal consciousness of 
the individual man, that he is born into the world as a creature of 
God, with responsibility to Him for the proper use of his God-given 
powers, and that to work out his personal destiny upon this personal 
accountability, he needs to be free from the constraints with which 
despotism would bind his body, mind, heart, and conscience. 


When the man has this idea planted in his soul, it becomes a 
moral force which dreads treason to the Almighty Sovereign more 
than all the threats of human authority, and makes resistance to 
tyrants obedience to God. The personal right of the man to his 
liberty is asserted from his deepest self-consciousness against the 
government that would abridge or destroy it. The great battle that 
was fought by our fathers at the formation of the Federal Constitu- 
tion in 1787 was for the protection of this right of self-government, 
and in opposition to the centralization of power in the Federal head. 
They believed that centralization of power in the general government 
would show itself in a too great tendency to control, regulate and 
direct the industry and enterprise of the individual man. They 
believed that such a centralization of power would build up a pater- 
nal government, the patria potestas of ancient despotism, and merg- 
ing the man into the mass and directing the destiny of all, would 
sacrifice the interest of the toiling, home-staying citizen to the grasp 
and greed of the few fawning parasites, who crowd the lobby and 
swarm the corridors of legislative bodies. They believed that pater- 
nity in government would beget class legislation, which instead of 

858 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

leaving" each man to enjoy the fruits of his own toil, would pool the 
earnings of society, upon which to fatten its favorite children in pal- 
aces of splendor, while it would starve its foundlings in hovels of 
squalor and misery. 

It was for local self-government as embodied in the doctrine of 
States' Rights, as we had learned it from our fathers, that the South 
fought. It had grown with our growth; strengthened with our 
strength, and become the very warp and woof of our natures. To 
us it was a principle, not a shadowy sentiment; but a principle whose 
foundations were deep down below the grasp of political earthquakes, 
and whose spires pierced the stars beyond the sweep of storms of 
fanaticism. The bitter feelings and sectional animosities to which I 
have referred became intensified as the years went by. The Consti- 
tution of our fathers, as we understood it, was set at naught, and its 
provisions, as we construed them, were disregarded, and that solemn 
compact which to us was sacred, was declared by many leading men 
of the North to be "a league with death and a covenant with hell." 


In the fall of i860, the crisis came. The people of the South, 
feeling that the time had come when they should resume the powers 
delegated to the Federal Government, called conventions, and one 
State after another passed acts of secession, by which they under- 
took to secede from the Union of States, resumed the delegated 
powers, and sever their connection with the Federal Government. 
They did not make war upon any one. They only asked to be let 
alone. They asked for no property, and demanded nothing except 
the recognition of their rights to govern their own affairs. These 
States formed another union of States, known as the Confederate 
States of America. Our northern brethren did not interpret the 
Constitution as we did. They denied our right to sever connection 
with the Union. They declared that we were rebels in a state of re- 
bellion, and they resorted to arms to enforce the laws of the United 
States, and to compel obedience to its authority. We believed we 
were right, and, believing this, we had the manhood to dare main- 
tain it. The gage of battle was tendered, and we accepted it. To 
arms, to arms, was echoed throughout the land. The bugle-call was 
heard from every hilltop, and throughout every valley. Fathers, 
husbands, sons, brothers, and sweethearts, gave the farewell kiss, 
and pressed forward to repel the foe, that as we honestly believe, 

General Lee's Birthday. 359 

was invading our territory. From every State came the sons of the 
South. From the plains of Texas, from the States washed by the 
Gulf, from across the Father of Waters, from Tennessee, Kentucky, 
and Maryland, from the Carolinas and Florida, from every State of 
the Southland they came. They came from the farm, from the 
store, from the office, and workshop; from every trade and profes- 
sion, till Virginia bristled with bayonets, from the driftwood of the 
Ohio to the sands of the seashore. There were those who were not 
of our race, but were adopted from other climes, who stood with us. 
I would not forget them. 

Some months ago, while in this city, I visited the Jewish Ceme- 
tery, and saw the plat dedicated to the graves of those of that race 
who fell in the Southern army. Had I ever felt disposed to deride 
those people, and give them the cold shoulder, I could do so no more. 
They touched elbow with us, and died for us. We know what part they 
played in the history of the past, and if I read the lines of prophecy 
correctly, they will have an important part yet to act in the great 
drama of life, and I do believe that the descendants of Judah will 
yet herd their flocks amid the hills of Assyrian kings, and sing songs 
to the Messiah beneath the white stars of the Chaldean sky. All, 
all were our comrades — 

" Who, living, were true and tried for us, 
And, dying, sleep side by side for us." 


Without an army, without munitions of war, with our ports block- 
aded, and cut off from the rest of the world, with only our own 
resources to rely upon, the South in a few months sent into the field 
an army of volunteers that in gallantry, undaunted courage and 
powers of endurance was seldom equalled, and never excelled in 
ancient or modern times. For four years the Southern army, with 
no place to recruit from except our own homes, met in the open field 
an army of vastly superior numbers, with money and army stores in 
abundance, and with the world to draw from to swell its ranks. 
Those who were our enemies have furnished indisputable proof of 
the dash and terrible fighting qualities of the Southern army. While 
the pension system of the Federal Government is the most stupen- 
dous fraud ever perpetrated upon a long-suffering people, it furnishes 
a monument to the chivalry of the Southern soldier, that speaks with 

360 Southern Historical Society Payers. 

a trumpet's tongue and a thunder's voice. Think of it. Thirty- 
three years after the close of the war there are more pensioners upon 
the list, basing their claims upon service in the Federal army, directly 
or indirectly, than the Southern Confederacy ever had men in the 
field, including the living and the dead. 

On and on rolled the surging, fiery billows of war, till scarcely a 
home in the Southland was beyond the roar of cannon and the rattle 
of musketry. Stronger and stronger grew the Federal army; weaker 
and weaker grew the Southern, till at last our chieftain, Robert E. 
Lee, beside whom as man and soldier, there is no one to place who 
can claim to be his peer, surrendered the remnant of the gallant 
army. Our flag was furled, our hopes were blasted, our cause was 


Amid all these stirring scenes who was the central figure ? Around 
whom did all the hopes of the people cluster ? To whom did the 
people of the Southland look in the darkest hour with a confidence 
that knew no wavering? To that grand man and great commander, 
Robert E. Lee. And what shall I say of him ? Language which 
my feeble ability enables me to command, is inadequate to express 
my admiration for him, and my conception of his greatness as man 
and soldier. The Southland, ploughed with graves and reddened 
with blood, that can look the proudest nation fearlessly in the lace, 
and whose sons he led to battle, will ever cherish for him the highest 
regard and the deepest affection. Aye, more, his fame is not bounded 
by the country of which he was a citizen, but it has gone across the 
waters, and wherever there is a heart upon whose altar burn the fires 
of liberty, and a soul that appreciates all that is great and good, there 
the name of Robert E. Lee is enshrined, and when the monuments 
we may build to his memory shall have crumbled into dust, his vir- 
tues will still live — a high model for the imitation of generations 
yet unborn. As has been beautifully said, "he was a foe without 
hate; a friend without treachery; a soldier without cruelty, and a 
victim without murmuring. He was a public officer without vices; 
a private citizen without wrong; a neighbor without reproach; a 
Christian without hypocracy, and a man without guilt. He was 
Caesar without his ambition; Frederick without his tyranny; Napo- 
leon without his selfishness, and Washington without his reward. 
He was obedient to authority as a servant, and royal in authority as 

General Lee's Birthday. 361 

a king. He was as gentle as a woman in life; pure and modest as a 
virgin in thought; watchful as a Roman vestal; submissive to law as 
Socrates, and grand in battle as Achilles." 

The profession of the soldier has been honored by his renown, the 
cause of education by his virtues, religion by his piety. 

" The greatest gift a hero leaves his race 
Is to have been a hero." 

In the ancient East, it is said, the wandering Arabs are searching 
for treasures buried in the tombs of their monarchs. He whose 
memory we commemorate, on this, the ninety-first anniversary of 
his birth, has no treasures buried with him. The treasures of his 
life were brave, noble, unselfish deeds, which he left behind him to 
make the sons of men wiser, nobler and better. 


I said our cause was lost, but it was lost only in the sense that we 
did not accomplish that for which we struggled, but the principles 
for which we contended still live. Clouds may obscure the sun, 
but it still shines; truth may be crushed to the earth, but it will rise 
again; principles of justice and right maybe trampled under the feet 
of demagogues and fanatics, but they still survive. All else may 
change and decay. Passing away is written upon all material things. 
"The grass of the field withereth; the flower thereof fadeth, the 
wind passeth over it, and it is gone." The tiny leaf springing from 
the expanding twig changes its color from summer beauty to autum- 
nal loveliness, and falls in withered worthlessness to the ground, 
teaching man who treads upon it a lesson of his own destiny. The 
granite peaks that stand like sentinels keeping watch over the valleys 
below, that have withstood the frost of centuries, around whose heads 
the lightnings of Heaven have harmlessly played, and on whose 
crest the lurid bolt as it leaped from the bosom of the storm-cloud 
has spent its force in vain, will succumb to the corroding touch of 
time and pass away. But the principles of right, which spring from 
the Eternal Throne, will survive " the wreck of matter and crush of 
worlds," and shine with resplendent lustre when illumined by the 
pure light of eternity. 

The struggle was ended, the soldier perished, but the principles 
for which he fought survive, and I believe that the time will come 
when the Southern soldier will not only stand acquitted, but justified 
by the verdict of the world. 

362 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

What means this building with the significant name of "Lee 
Camp?" What means the hundreds of- similar organizations all 
over the Southland ? They speak in no unmeaning language. They 
tell us that though our cause is lost in the sense that the indepen- 
dence of the Southern Confederacy was not achieved; that though 
we were wasted and worn and all was lost, we saved our honor and 
our manhood, and we cannot forget our heroes. Sacred history tells 
us that one of the disciples proposed that three tabernacles should be 
raised on the mount of transfiguration, and in all ages of the world 
heroic deeds of men and nations have been commemorated by their 
fellow-citizens. Show me a land where there are no churches whose 
spires point heavenward, commemorative of the great work finished 
on Calvary, as told in that Book, suspended as it were in the zenith 
of the moral heaven, bidding all men to look, believe, and live; 
show me a land where there are no tombs of marble, no statues of 
bronze, no monuments of granite, erected to commemorate heroic, 
self-sacrificing deeds, and I will show you a people lost to every lofty 
emotion, without an ennobling sentiment, fit subjects to be the dupes 
of demagogues and the slaves of the ambitious. No, no; we cannot 
forget the boys who wore the gray and offered their lives for what 
they believed to be right. 

" On fame's eternal camping ground 
Their silent tents are spread; 
While glory guards with solemn round 
The bivouac of the dead." 


Raise monuments to their memory, and with each returning season 
strew their graves with flowers of field and garden, and by these 
things let your children and children's children be taught that the 
heroes of the Lost Cause were not rebels and traitors, but men of the 
noblest type, who were ready to do, to dare, and to die in obedience 
to the call of duty. Go on with the work, and the brave, the true of 
every land, will approve such conduct. No one who wore the blue, 
and who was a soldier, will say aught against it. Only those who 
were peace-like in war and warlike in peace will condemn. " He 
jests at scars who never felt a wound." We covet not their praise, 
nor will we be deterred by their censure. 

A few more words and I am done. To the rising generation I 
would deliver a message. Soon "taps" for " lights out " will sound 

General Lee's Birthday. 363 

for all who wore the gray, and they will go to answer roll-call on the 
other shore. Will you permit the memory of their deeds of daring, 
their knightly valor, their devotion to principle, to perish from off 
the earth, or will you take up the work when other hands shall droop 
and fail, and see that they shall live in the history of coming years ? 
True, they fought and lost, but is that all ? 

Is that all ? Was duty naught ? 

Love and Faith made blind with tears ? 
What the lessons that they taught ? 
W 7 hat the glory that they caught 

From the onward sweeping years ? 

Here are they who marched away, 

Followed by our hopes and fears; 
Nobler never went than they 
To a bloodier, madder fray, 

In the lapse of all the years. 

Garlands still shall wreathe the swords 

That they drew amid our cheers; 
Children's lispings, women's words, 
Sunshine, and the songs of birds 

Greet them here through all the years. 

With them ever shall abide 

All our love and all our prayers. 
"What of them ? " The battle's tide 
Hath not scathed them. Lo, they ride 
Still with Stuart down the years. 

Where are they who went away, 
Sped with smiles that changed to tears ? 

Lee yet leads the lines of gray — 

Stonewall still rides down this way; 
They are Fame's through all the years. 


Captain Parks was frequently applauded during his speech, and at 
its close he received quite an ovation. 

Captain Stratton moved that the thanks of the camp should be 
extended to the distinguished speaker for his eloquent and patriotic 
oration, and the motion was seconded, though before it could be put 
Captain Alex. Archer moved to amend it so as to include the thanks 
of the entire audience. 

364 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

The amendment was accepted, and the motion adopted by a risings 

The Tony Miller Combination played several selections, and Mr. 
Eugene Davis, Sr. , by special request, sang several dialect songs, 
which were liberally applauded. 


Judge F. R. Farrar was called upon by Commander Peay, and re- 
sponded very happily. He prefaced his remarks with a graceful 
compliment to Captain Parks, and said he had no desire to mar the 
perfect autonomy, as he wittily termed it, of the occasion, by any 
words of his. He was induced to proceed, however, and with his 
well-known versatility, he flitted from grave to joy, and touched 
many a tender chord in the hearts of his listeners. Leaving the 
platform, he took one of the violins belonging to the Miller Combi- 
nation, and played some old fashioned Virginia reels and other 
music, which fairly delighted his hearers. 

Refreshments were served in the committee rooms adjoining the 
camp hall, and the rest of the evening was spent in telling war sto- 
ries, singing, playing, and impromptu speech making. 

Imprisoned under Fire. 365 

[From the Richmond, Va., Times, August 22, 1897.] 


Six Hundred Gallant Confederate Officers on Morris Island, 
S. C, in Reach of Confederate Guns. 

They were held in Retaliation, and Two of them Relate the Expe« 

riences of Prison Life — Stories of Captain F. C. Barnes 

and Captain R. E. Frayser. 

A list of the officers under fire, as above, including those as well 
from Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, 
Florida, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, has been 
given in Vol. XVII, Southern Historical Society Papers, pp. 34-46, 
but as the list from Virginia herewith is more complete and definitely 
descriptive, it is meet that it should be printed now. 

Further and graphic experience of the " hardships, sufferings and 
hazards" of the "Six Hundred," is given in the "narrative" of 
Colonel Abram Fulkerson, of the 63d Tennessee infantry, Southern 
Historical Society Papers, Vol. XXII, pp. 127-146. — Editor. 

During the seige of Charleston the powerful Federal guns located 
on Morris Island could send their shells into the lower part of the 
city, where their explosion caused great destruction of houses, and 
danger to the inhabitants of that part of the town. As a means of 
protecting the residents, Major-General Sam Jones, commanding the 
Confederate forces in Charleston, notified Major- General J. G. Fos- 
ter, of the United States army, that he had placed five generals and 
forty-five field officers of the United States army, "in a part of the 
city occupied by non-combatants, the majority of whom are women 
and children. It is proper that I should inform you that it is a part 
of the city which has been for many months exposed day and night 
to the fire of your guns." 

This letter was sent on the 13th of June, 1864. Forthwith Gen- 
eral Foster sent a copy of the letter to General Halleck, at Wash- 
ington, and thereupon he ordered 600 Confederate officers to be 
taken from Fort Delaware and placed on Morris Island under the 
fire of the Confederate guns, in retaliation for the act of General 

366 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

Of these 600 officers, a list of the Virginians is given herewith, 
among whom will be found the name of Second Lieutenant C. F. 
Crisp, 10th Infantry, Luray, Page county. This second lieutenant 
was the late Speaker of the House of Representatives. Among 
others of the 600 not named with the Virginians, but well-known in 
Richmond, were Captain Thomas Pinckney, 4th cavalry, Charleston, 
S. C, and Colonel A. Fulkerson, 63rd Tennessee Infantry, Rogers- 

The only Richmond man in the lot was Second Lieutenant S. H. 
Hawes, Page's Virginia Battery. The story of the transportation 
and life of the 600 is told by Captain F. C. Barnes, then second 
lieutenant 56th Virginia Infantry, and Captain R. E. Frayser, signal 
officer, New Kent county. During a recent visit to Richmond, 
Captain Barnes, who is now an honored citizen of Chase City, was 
induced to give the following account of his experiences: 


Captain Barnes said: 

I was captured in Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, Pa., on July 3, 
1863. There my prison life commenced. After confinement in sev- 
eral prisons, I was taken to Johnson Island, Lake Erie, which was a 
prison exclusively for commissioned officers. 

On the 9th of February, 1864, the names of 600 officers from 
lieutenant to colonel were called, and when we responded were placed 
in line and marched to the wharf, and there carried over to Sandusky 
in Ohio. None were aware of their destination, but supposed we 
were selected for exchange. 

We remained all night in Sandusky, where it uas very cold, but 
we were comfortable and enjoyed some privileges, not being strictly 
guarded. We left the next day on a train, and when we landed it 
was in Philadelphia. 

There we were imprisoned in the State Armory, where -we were 
comfortable. We staid there some weeks, and then were under strict 
guard by negro soldiers. 

We left there on the 16th of June on a steamer for Washington 
city. On the way a plan was devised to seize the guard, capture the 
boat and run ashore. All were united, but the plot was foiled by the 
boat running up under a fort on the river. The commanding officer 
must have had some intimation or suspicion of our purpose, for from 
the fort, a gunboat went up the river with our steamer. 

Arriving in Washington we were taken to the Old Capitol, where 

Imprisoned under Fire. 367 

we remained several weeks, with light rations, and then were carried 
to Fort Delaware. From this place we were taken on the 20th ot 
August, 1864, and carried to a large ocean steamer, Crescent City, 
then lying in the bay below the breakwater. 

We sailed the next day for parts unknown, but still believing we 
were going to be exchanged. During the voyage we ran aground 
on Cape Romain, off the coast of South Carolina, when a large lot of 
coal had to be thrown off to lighten the ship, before sailing again. 
While stranded, a large gunboat came in sight and created great 
commotion among the officers and guard of the boat. They were 
apprehensive that an attempt would be made for our release, but 
there was no demonstration of that kind. 

After sailing again, nearly all of us were placed in the hull of the 
boat and guarded more rigidly. We were kept out of sight of land 
for two weeks or more, and finally landed at Morris Island, S. C. 
This was on the 7th of September, and the first intimation we had of 
our destination. 

Several officers knew the place, and all were soon informed. Our 
treatment on board the steamer was very rough, with scanty rations 
and brackish water. An officer died on the way and was given a 
burial at sea. 

After landing at Morris Island we were placed under fire of our 
own guns in front of a Federal battery, which was shelled from Fort 
Sumter. The first evening and night the shelling was very heavy 
but none of us were killed. It seemed our guns got the range and 
fired over us. One morning while Captain Findley, of Virginia 
(now a preacher in Augusta county), J. E. Cobb, H. Coffry and 
myself were in our small tent just after Captain Findley had read a 
chapter in a Bible, which I now have and in which I placed all the 
notes of all my travels, a large shell fell right at our feet and covered 
us all with sand, but fortunately did not explode nor break up our 
accustomed worship. 

We were guarded by negro troops commanded by Colonel Hallo- 
well, who was a heartless man, and under him the most cruel treat- 
ment was experienced. We were not allowed any privileges, and 
often fired into by the guards for the most trivial offence and several 
men were wounded. 

There was a plan on foot to tunnel out and make our escape, but 
the equinoctial storm flooded our work and it caved in. Another 
attempt was made by digging out, but our scheme was reported to 

368 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

the authorities by a traitor of our number and we abandaned the 

We left Morris Island on the 21st of October, and on the 22d 
landed at Fort Pulaski, Georgia. This was a nice prison, com- 
manded by Colonel Brown, of New York, a kindhearted officer who 
allowed us the grounds in the fort for exercise, and good rations were 

In the bringing in to prisoners of a barrel of hard tack, a barrel of 
brown sugar was brought by mistake, and before the error could be 
remedied, the sugar was devoured by the officers who had not tasted 
anything sweet for a long time. 

On November 19th, about one-half of the 600 were taken to Hil- 
ton Head, S. C. , arriving there the next day. Here retaliation was 
practiced in its most cruel form. Our rations for forty-five days con- 
sisted of five ounces corn meal and a half pint of brackish water per 
man, and occasionally some sour pickle. 

The sufferings were intense and many died. Wharf rats were 
caught and eaten. The barracks were framed buildings about 
30x90 feet, no windows, and bunks of pine poles, one blanket to 
four men. 

Lamps were burning all the time and the rats were cooked over 
them. After the rats were all consumed, dogs and cats which came 
in the way were caught and speedily devoured. One old bob-tail 
gray cat long escaped, but was finally caught and a feast made over 

Lieutenant S. H. Hawes, of Richmond, narrowly missed a feast 
on a fat dog, which came about thus: 

Some of his comrades boasted of having had rat stews; and he 
did have an invitation to a cat supper. A Missourian (Captain Per- 
kins) caught a cat, killed and cooked it for his mess of four. One 
of the mess, as a special favor, sent Lieutenant Hawes an invitation 
to the feast, and he accepted to the extent of looking at them as they 
ate. It was very kind to invite him, but he couldn't "go " cat. It 
was suggested that as he was so squearmish about cat, maybe he 
would take some " Ponto " stew if offered. 

" Ponto " was a beautiful half-grown, well-fed, fat setter puppy, 
belonging to the Federal officer in charge of our guard. This young 
dog came to our quarters every day to have a frolic with the pris- 
oners. Hawes agreed to accept invitation and to eat some of the 
dog supper when prepared, for the puppy was young, cleanly- 
washed, fat and healthy. 

Imprisoned under Fire. 369 

Perkins thereupon agreed to catch and kill " Ponto " and prepare 
the feast. The next morning the dog came bounding into the prison 
yard as soon as the gate was opened, as was his habit, but most posi- 
tively declined all of Perkins' advances, notwithstanding his friend- 
ship heretofore. As soon as he looked into Perkins' eyes doubt took 
possession of him. 

"Ponto" sniffed danger in the air, tucked tail and ran for the 
gate, and foreswore his prison friends ever after. His unreasoning 
suspicions prevented the feast. 

Captain R. E. Frayser, also of Richmond, was the most active 
man in the grape-vine telegraph business. What news he couldn't 
bring in wasn't worth knowing. His having been in the Signal 
Corps possibly accounted for his success in that line. 

Grape-vine news was terribly twisted and rarely straight. 

Nevertheless it gave us something to talk about. 

When forty-five days expired flour, meat and bread were brought 
in and wood needed for cooking, utensils furnished and the men 
were allowed all they wanted to eat. 

After such a long deprivation, many killed themselves from over- 
eating. The meal was old and wormy, but it had to be eaten. 
Those who had survived the trying ordeal through which we passed, 
were taken from Hilton Head on the 5th of March, 1865, and car- 
ried to Fort Monroe on the 8th of March, after a very rough trip at 

From there we were taken to Fort Wool, and on the nth of 
March, sailed for Fort Delaware, where we landed on the 12th, next 

Of the 600 whose names were called at Johnson's Island on the 
9th of February, 1864, only 293 of the number answered the call at 
Fort Delaware on their return after months of perils, trials, suffer- 
ings and tribulations. 

Fort Delaware, taken altogether, was the dirtiest, filthiest and 
most unhealthy prison I ever saw, and I was there three times during 
my captivity. The remnant of the 600 remained at Fort Delaware 
until the general exchange in June, 1865. 

F. C. Barnes. 

Captain R. E. Frayser's Experience. 

Captain Frayser was very reluctant in agreeing to write out some 
of his reminiscences of the imprisonment of the 600 at Morris Island. 

370 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

While a great portion of his time has been devoted to journalism 
since the war, he has written very little about the conflict between 
the States, nor does he talk much about it. The whole of his time 
is now given to the practice of law, and he is doing well in this pro- 
fession. The narrative written by Captain Frayser follows: 

"In August, 1864, orders were issued by the Federal Govern- 
ment that 600 Confederate officers confined at Fort Delaware should 
should be sent to Morris Island, near Charleston, S. C, and placed 
under fire. There had been sent previously fifty general and field 
officers to the same point for the same purpose. But after some 
little delay these officers were exchanged. The 600 were somewhat 
elated at first, thinking they too would very soon be in ' Dixie,' 
after leaving Fort Delaware. But in this they were greatly disap- 
pointed. On the arrival of the Crescent City, the steamer that con- 
veyed them to Charleston harbor, these officers were disembarked 
and marched along the beach to a most formidable stockade, located 
between batteries Gregg and Wagner, all in full view of Fort 
Sumter, which resembled at that day a huge brick kiln. It had 
withstood some terrific attacks, but in this dismantled condition the 
Confederate flag still waved triumphantly over this impregnable 

"The first night in the pen was not at all pleasant, firing com- 
menced early that night, and fragments of Confederate shell thrown 
from Fort Moultrie fell in the pen. 

" The Confederates at the time were not aware of the presence of 
the Confederate prisoners, but they soon learned that the Confeder- 
ate prisoners were exposed to the fire of Fort Moultrie, and there 
was a change in the guns at that fort. The dead line was a conspic- 
uous feature in the appointments of this abode, where the six hun- 
dred lingered for forty-five days, suffering all the pangs of hunger 
that one can imagine; two ounces of salt pork or beef, with damaged 
ship bread, in a very limited quantity, and that inhabited with 
worms, ranging from a quarter to half an inch long, with black heads. 
When this was not given to the prisoners, they had doled out to 
them, stale grit with abundance of fat worms. These dainties given 
to the Confederates twice a day, made many sick, who were sent to 
the hospital, where they died. The death rate was alarming, with 
cruel treatment, the climate, and miserable water, the weak had to 
succumb to the inevitable. Forty-five days on such food was harsh 
treatment indeed. The reader may ask, what was all this for ? Well, 
for " fighting against the best government the world ever saw." 

Imprisoned under Fire. 371 


"The Confederates were told at the time, this was a counter move 
on the military chess-board, by the Federal Government, for alleged 
ill-treatment of Andersonville prisoners, said to be confined in the 
lower portion of Charleston, to prevent that part of it from being 
destroyed by the heavy seige guns in Gregg and Wagner, that 
were firing on Charleston night and day, having a powerful auxiliary 
in the Swamp Angel, the nearest gun to Charleston. At the expi- 
ration of forty-five days, the prisoners placed under fire, were re- 
moved and put on board a steamer and sent to Fort Pulaski. Here 
the retaliation was continued, causing many deaths. The fort being 
somewhat crowded, a portion of the prisoners were sent to Hilton 
Head. Here as elsewhere, there was great suffering. Being imme- 
diately on the coast, the atmosphere was very damp and cold; rats 
and cats were killed in great numbers, and consumed by the starving 
Confederates. In war, a real soldier gives hard blows and expects 
the same in return; but it looks a little inhospitable to see one's ad- 
versary, with his knapsack full, and with no inclination to divide 

"A soldier can eat almost anything when he gets in a real tight 
place. The historian says that in the memorable retreat from Mos- 
cow, the King of Naples, when driven by hunger, enjoyed cat and 
horse flesh, so it was with the suffering Confederates sent to Morris 
Island. They did not hesitate to devour everything that came within 
their reach — cats, dogs, rats, etc. I cannot at this late day recall all 
the incidents connected with this distressing and protracted impris- 
onment, but I will mention one. The writer had on his person a 
finger ring and a $50 Confederate note. The two were sold for $10 
and put in sutler stores, which were purchased at most exhorbitant 
prices. Sergeant Lennox, who belonged to the 54th Massachusetts 
regiment, which guarded the Confederates, and whose home was in 
Boston, was very kind to the writer. With this money Lennox bought 
bread, molasses and many other things. This he had to do in a 
most surreptitious manner, for it was a violation of orders, and had 
it been known, Lennox would have been severely punished. The 
54th regiment was composed wholly of colored men, with the ex- 
ception of the officers. The writer thinks that it was commanded 
by Colonel Hallowell, of Philadelphia. 

" Immediately after the war the writer knew a number who had 
gone through this trying ordeal, as follows : Captain Jones R. Christian 

372 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

and Jesse Child, of Richmond, and Captain Henry St. George 
Coalter and Captain Darracott, of Hanover county. These have re- 
sponded to the last roll-call, and those who now survive are Lieu- 
tenant S. Horace Hawes, Captain DePriest, and the writer, of 
Richmond, and Captain Barnes, of Chase City, Captain W. C. 
Nunn, West Point, Va." 

Following are the Virginia members of the " Six Hundred: " 


Charles B. Christian, Forty-ninth Infantry, Allen's creek, Amherst 

James C. Council, Twenty -sixth Infantry, St. Steven's Church. 


Richard Woodrum, Twenty-sixth Battalion, Union, Monroe co. 

Peter V. Batte, Forty-fourth Battalion, Petersburg. 

William H. Hood, Petersburg Militia, Berlin, Southampton co. 

D. A. Jones, General M. Jones' staff, Harrisonburg. 
Thomas P. Branch, General Ransom's staff, Petersburg. 


J. McD. Carrington, Charlottesville Battery, Charlottesville. 

E. E. DePriest, Twenty-third Infantry, Richmond. 

W. P. Carter, Page's Battery, Millwood, Clarke county. 

George W. Mercer, Twenty-ninth Battery, Rural Retreat. 

J. H. Johnson, Twenty-fifth Virginia, Franklin, Pendleton co. 

J. J. Dunkle, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Franklin, Pendleton co. 

H. C. Dickinson, Second Cavalry, Liberty, Bedford county. 

J. W. Mathews, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Beverly, Randolph co. 

H. A. Allen, Ninth Infantry, Portsmouth. 

R. E. Frayser, Signal Officer, New Kent Courthouse. 

J. R. Christian, Third Virginia, New Kent Courthouse. 

L. Harmon, Twelfth Cavalry, Staunton. 

A. Dobyns, Forty-second Infantry, Jacksonville, Floyd county. 

J. W. Helm, Forty-second Infantry, Jacksonville, Floyd county. 

A. R. Humes, Twenty-first Cavalry, Abidgdon. 

W. P. Duff, Fifteenth Infantry, Jonesville, Lee county. 

D. C. Grayson, Tenth Infantry, Luray, Page county. 

A. N. Finks, Tenth Infantry, Madison Courthouse. 

F. W. Kelly, Fiftieth Infantry, Tazewell county. 

Imprisoned under Fire. 373 

T. M. Gobble, Forty-eighth Infantry, Abingdon. 

W. S. McConnell, Forty-eighth Infantry, Estillville. 

W. L. Guthrie, Twenty-third Infantry, Prince Edward county. 

James Dunlap, Twenty-sixth Battery, Union, Monroe county. 

A. M. Edgar, Twenty-seventh Infantry, Lewisburg. 

J. A. Lipps, Fiftieth Infantry, Wise Courthouse. 

J. O. B. Crocker, Ninth Infantry, Norfolk. 

T. B. Horton, Eleventh Infantry. 

R. C. Gillispie, Forty-fifth Infantry, Fort Worth, Texas. 

R. H. Miller, Forty-fourth Infantry, Buckingham county. 

J. M. Hillsman, Forty-fourth Infantry, Amelia county. 

T. H. Board, Fifty-eighth Infantry, Bedford county. 

J. M. Hughes, Forty-fourth Infantry, Scottsville, Albemarle co. 

Isaac Kuykendall, Seventh Cavalry, Romney. 

J. M. Lovett, Twenty-second Cavalry, Hampshire county. 

W. T. Mitchell, Sixth Cavalry, Pittsylvania county. 

T. A. Moon, Sixth Cavalry, Halifax county. 

A. M. King, Fiftieth Infantry, Saltville, Lee county. 

B. G. Brown, Seventh Infantry, Brown's Cove, Albemarle co. 
Charles D. McCoy, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Charlottesville. 
William C. Nunn, Fifth Cavalry, Little Plymouth. 

Peyton Alfriend, Thirty-ninth Militia, Petersburg. 
Bruce Gibson, Sixth cavalry, Upperville, Fauquier county. 
George W. Nelson, General Pendleton's staff, Beaver Dam, Han- 
over county. 

C. J. Lewis, Eighth Cavalry, Charleston, Kanawha county. 


D. M. Leyton, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Mount Meridian. 
B. B. Howelett, Fifth Cavalry, Cobb's creek. 

O. H. P. Lewis, Thirty-first Infantry, Beverly, Randolph county. 

W. W. Boggs, Twentieth Cavalry, Wheeling. 

J. Arrington, Forty-second Infantry, Campbell Courthouse. 

D. W. Garrett, Forty-second Infantry, Morgantown, Ga. 

H. T. Coalter, Fifty-third Infantry, King William Courthouse. 


Thomas O. Moss, Twenty-third Infantry, Louisa Courthouse. 
H. Fry, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Wheeling. 
W. E. Hart, Page's Battery, King William Courthouse. 
B. C. Maxwell, Cutshaw's Battery, Westham Locks. 

374 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

J. Ogden Murray, Seventh Cavalry, Richmond. 

W. Asberry, Sixteenth Infantry, Target Hill, Wayne county. 

B. D. Merchant, Fourth Cavalry, Manassas Junction. 
James H. Childs, Warrenton. 

S. T. Carson, Fifth Infantry, Steel's Tavern, Augusta county. 

Jesse Child, Forty-second Infantry, Richmond. 

George H. Killian, Fifth Infantry, Waynesborough. 

J. W. Gilkerson, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Mint Springs, Augusta 

M. E. Bowers, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Franklin, Pendleton county. 

W. L. Hunter, Forty-third Battalion (Cavalry), Waynesborough. 

W. L. Bernard, Thirty-seventh Battalion (Cavalry), Rocky Mount, 
Franklin county. 

T. S. Mitchell, Forty-second Infantry, Martinsville, Henry county. 

P. W. Dalton, Forty-second Infantry, Martinsville, Henry county. 

H. L. Hoover, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Staunton. 

T. J. Kirk, Fourth Infantry, Christiansburg. 

T. C. Chandler, Forty-seventh Infantry, Bowling Green. 

A. R. Angell, Forty-second Infantry, Rocky Mount, Franklin 

G. W. Finley, Fifty-sixth Infantry, Clarksville. 

W. McGaulley, Ninth Cavalry, Warsaw. 

J. C. Allen, Seventh Cavalry, Edinburg, Shenandoah county. 

L. B. Doyle, Fifth Infantry, Lexington. 

J. W. A. Ford, Twentieth Cavalry, Lewisburg. 

A. W. Edwards, Fifteenth Cavalry, Princess Anne county. 

W. H. Morgan, Eleventh Infantry, Campbell county. 

J. D. Greener, Fiftieth Infantry, Tazewell county. 

C. P. Harper, Twenty-first Infantry, Mecklenburg. 
Isaac Coles, Sixth Cavalry, Peytonsburg. 

S. M. Dent, Fifth Cavalry, Alexandria. 

Erasmus L. Bell, Tenth Infantry, Luray. 

C. D. Hall, Forty-eighth Infantry, Lee, Page county. 

Henry C. Howlett, Fifth Cavalry, Petersburg. 

Earl C. Andis, Fourth Infantry, Elk Creek. 

Jefferson W. A. Funk, Fifth Infantry, Winchester. 

John F. Lytten, Fifth Infantry, Long Glade. 

James W. Gellock, Twenty-seventh Infantry, Lexington. 

James W. McDowell, Twenty-sixth Battalion, Lewisburg. 

A. G. Hudgins, Confederate States Navy, Richmond. 

C. B. Eastham, Tenth Infantry, Harrisonburg. 

Imprisoned under Fire. 375 

J. H. Hawkins, Tenth Infantry, McGaheysville. 
T. P. Doyle, Thirty-third Infantry, Staunton. 


Drury Lacy, Twenty-third Infantry, Prince Edward Courthouse. 

S. J. Hutton, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Glade Spring Depot. 

M. H. Duff, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Lodi, Washington county. 

E. A. Rosenbalm, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Lodi, Washington 

S. A. Johnson, Twenty-third Infantry, Louisa, Washington co. 
J. W. Groom, Twenty-third Infantry, Louisa, Washington co. 
Alex. B. Cooke, Twenty-third Infantry, Louisa, Washington co. 
R. C. Bryan, Forty-eighth Infantry, Abingdon. 
J. T. Fulcher, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Abingdon. 
J. S. King, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Abingdon. 
S. H. Hawes, Page's Virginia Battery, Richmond. 

F. King, Page's Virginia Battery, King William county. 
R. Massie, Cutshaw's Virginia Battery, Covesville. 
George F. Keiser, Fifth Infantry, Greenville. 

John T. Gannaway, Fiftieth Infantry, Chatham Hill. 

R. W. Legg, Fiftieth Infantry, Turkey Cove. 

R. S. Bowie, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Abingdon. 

F. Foussie, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Weston. 

W. L. Enos, Twenty-sixth Infantry, Wood's Cross Roads, Glou- 
cester county. 

A. B. Cauthorn, Twenty-sixth Infantry, King and Queen Court- 

John M. Lambert, Fifty-second Infantry, Greenville. 

W. P. R. Leigh, Fifth Cavalry, Gloucester Courthouse. 

W. N. Hendrix, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Fairmount. 

John G. Brown, Forty-ninth Infantry, Front Royal. 

W. H. Hatcher, Forty-second Infantry, Liberty, 

W. B. Carder, Fourth Infantry, Marion, Smyth county. 

T. J. King, Forty-second Cavalry Battalion, Martinsville, Henry 

T. M. Gravely, Forty-second Infantry, Martinsville, Henry co. 

J. P. Kelly, Fourth Infantry, Newburn, Henry county. 

P. Hogan, Fourth Infantry, Lexington. 

J. W. Mauck, Tenth Infantry, Harrisonburg. 

S. D. Bland, Eighteenth Cavalry, Franklin, Pendleton county. 

376 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

C. Frates, Third Infantry, Petersburg. 
S. W. Garey, Third Infantry, Norfolk. 

F. C. Barnes, Fifty-sixth Infantry, Marysville, Charlotte county. 
J. H. Allen, Forty-eighth Infantry Battalion, Ballardsville, Boone 

H. G. Brinkley, Forty-first Infantry, Norfolk. 

C. F. Crisp, Tenth Infantry, Luray, Page county. 
S. H. Finks, Tenth Infantry, Madison Courthouse. 

J. Long, Tenth Infantry, Bridgewater, Rockingham county. 
John A. Donaghe, Tenth Infantry, Parnassus. 
J. J. Hervitzie, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Lebanon. 
J. A. Burnett, Fiftieth Infantry, Blountville, Sullivan county, Ten- 

W. S. Gilmer, Thirty-seventh Infantry, Lebanon. 

J. W. Harris, Fifty-eighth Infantry, Bedford county. 

J. S. Hix, Forty-fourth Infantry, Goochland. 

Thomas R. Applebury, Forty-fourth Infantry, Fluvanna county. 

John W. Hughes, Forty-fourth Infantry, Cobham Depot. 

William A. Dawson, Twenty-seventh Infantry, Callands. 

D. B. Cannoy, Fourth Infantry, Elk creek. 

W. W. George, Twenty-sixth Battalion, Princeton, Mercer co. 
W. G. Herrington, Twenty-fifth Battalion, Shelby, Cleveland 
county, N. C. 

R. C. Campbell, Fifty-third Infantry, King William county. 

J. Walker Frasier, First Cavalry, Loudoun county. 

C. P. Johnson, McNeil's Battalion, P. R. Hampshire county. 

P. B. Akers, Eleventy Infantry, Lynchburg. 

L. Green, Fifth Cavalry, Petersburg. 

H. C. Jones, Fiftieth Infantry, Gladesville. 

J. S. Hempstead, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Dubuque, la. 

W. D. Dodson, Fifth Cavalry, Danville. 

Robert B. Hart, Fifth Cavalry, Stevensville. 

John W. Davis, Twentieth Cavalry, Clarksburg. 

Hopkins Harden, Nineteenth Infantry, Scottsville. 

Francis R. Haynes, Twenty-fourth Cavalry, Cobb's Creek. 

Thornton J. Berry, Twenty-fifth Infantry, Salt Lick. 

Norman D. Embry, Twenty-fifth Cavalry, Pineville. 

Alex. R. Humphries, Twenty-sixth Battalion, Lewisburg. 

C. D. Fitzhugh, First Cavalry, Hagerstown, Md. 

Imprisoned under Fire. 377 

Seven Virginia Officers Whose Names Were Omitted from the List. 

Editor of The Times: 

Sir, — The list of the Virginia officers given in the article on the 
gallant 600 in the Times of last Sunday will be highly appreciated 
by all survivors as well as by the many friends. It has been read, 
re-read, reflected and meditated upon until the dark mirror of mem- 
ory is before me, the lights of fancy are rising, faint and undefined 
images are appearing from every quarter. The lights increase, the 
figures grow plainer and plainer. I know them ; they are the forms 
of former prison friends and associates — shabbily dressed, torn, tat- 
tered and threadbare — they don't look like gentlemen. This is a 
matter of the slightest moment — they were my comrades in the sor- 
sowful past and I love them. Yet I like not having to recall them 
in the bygone events through which they moved; hence the value of 
the printed roster. Here are seven Virginia officers whose names 
have been omitted in the list. They all embarked with the 600 on 
the Crescent City; they all returned to Virginia before the close of 
the war, and doubtless they are all now dead. 

Colonel Woolfolk, Orange county, Va. , ranking officer of the Vir- 

Major Evan Rice, Tappahannock, Va. 

Captain Chalkley, Chesterfield county, Va. 

Captain Fitzgerald, Norfolk, Va. 

Captain Haskins, Northern Valley of Virginia. 

First Lieutenant Charles R. Darracott, Sturdevant's Battery, 
Richmond, Va. 

Midshipman Leftwich, Lynchburg, Va. 


George Hopkins. 
Glen Allen, Va., August 27, 1897. 

378 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Charleston News and Courier, January, 1898.] 


[See Ante, pp. 297-302.] 

We are indebted to the Hon. James Sprunt, of Wilmington, N. 
C. , for another interesting contribution in regard to the early life of 
Judah P. Benjamin. He is confirmed in his opinion that Mr. Benja- 
min lived in Fayetteville, N. C. , and attended the " Fayetteville 
Academy," where he attained distinction in his studies, and was 
prepared for college. His conviction is based upon ' ' the competent 
testimony of the venerable R. C. Belden, Esq., of this State" 
(North Carolina), "who was an intimate friend and schoolmate of 
young Benjamin." We publish both Mr. Sprunt' s letter, and Mr. 
Belden' s statement to-day. 

In the absence of other testimony, we would say that Mr. Sprunt 
had^made out his case; the most that we can concede, however, in 
view of abundant testimony upon the subject, is that Mr. Benjamin 
may have been a pupil at the Fayetteville Academy for perhaps a 
year. Indeed, this is all that Mr. Belden claims. It is admitted 
generally, that the Benjamins came to the United States when Judah 
was only four or five years of age, and Mr. Ezekiel says that the 
time of their immigration was 1815. Mr. Belden says that Judah 
and his brother Solomon, and his sister Hannah, " came to Fayette- 
ville in 1825, lived with their uncle and aunt, and became pupils in 
the Fayetteville Academy," and that "Judah was a classmate of 
mine during his stay in Fayetteville." Continuing, Mr. Belden says: 
"Mr. Levy" (Judah's uncle), "desiring to enlarge his business, 
removed with his sister" (Mrs. Wright), "and the Benjamins to 
New Orleans, in 1826. 

If they prove anything, these statements prove that Judah could 
not have been in Fayetteville much more than one year; if, indeed, 
he were ever there at all, except with the Confederate Cabinet on its 
flight from Richmond at the close of the war in 1865. If ne arrived 
in Fayetteville on January 1, 1825, and departed thence on December 
31, 1826, he could not have been in Fayetteville more than two 
years. It is admitted by Mr. Belden that the Benjamins came to 
Charleston from the West Indies, and the time of their arrival here, 

Judah P. Benjamin . 379 

as nearly as can be reckoned, was in the year 1815. He did not go 
to Fayetteville, if at all, until 1825, and must have been fifteen years 
old that year, and must have lived in Charleston for at least ten years 
before he became Mr. Belden's classmate, unless it shall transpire 
that Mr. Belden really attended school with Judah at the old brick 
school-house in St. Michael's alley, Charleston. 

There is no doubt that Mr. Benjamin lived in Charleston, and went 
to school in this city. He told Mr. Levin that such was the case. 
Mr. B. C. Hard, of Williamslon, S. C, who is still living, says that 
he was in Judah' s class; that Judah was a very bright pupil, and 
quoted Shakespeare while playing marbles; that his teacher was 
Robert Southworth. Among his classmates, or school-fellows, were 
N. Russell Middleton, T. Leger Hutchinson, W. J. Hard, Mitchell 

King, Wilson, B. C. Hard, Stephen Thomas and others — all 

for many years residents of this city. The Hebrew Orphan Society 
paid for his schooling. The store in which his father did business 
was situated in King street, near Clifford street, and his aunt, Mrs. 
Wright, as we were told yesterday upon good authority, also did 
business in this city. Probably when she moved to Fayetteville, in 
1825, she took her nephew and niece with her. 

If further evidence were needed to prove that the Benjamins lived 
in Charleston it can be found in the records of the United States 
Court in Charleston, which show that the elder Benjamin obtained 
his naturalization papers here. After the war, when Judah wished 
to enter the English Bar, it was necessary for him to prove that he 
was born a British subject, and the proof of his father's application 
for American citizenship was found on file in the United States Court 
at Charleston. 

Mr. Benjamin was a great man, and we are not surprised that 
many cities should claim the honor of his residence. We hope that 
the Hon. Francis Lawley, of London, will not omit Charleston from 
his story of the "Life of Judah P. Benjamin." But for the care 
which was taken of his friend and confidant in this old town, proba- 
bly the world would never have known him; the world, as we all 
know, is full of "mute, inglorious Miltons." 

380 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Baltimore Sun, November 2, 1897.] 


How President Lincoln was Brought to the Point of Issuing His 

It was in the closing- days of September, 1862, says the New York 
■Mail and Express, that Abraham Lincoln formally announced that 
on the January 1, following, he would declare all slaves free in the 
States then at war with the government. To Frank B. Carpenter, 
the artist, Lincoln gave a very interesting account of the manner in 
which he prepared and submitted to the cabinet the proclamation. 

" It had got to be," he said, "midsummer, 1862. Things had gone 
on from bad to worse, until I felt that we had reached the end 
of the rope on the plan of operations we had been pursuing; 
that we had about played our last card, and must change our tactics 
or lose the game. I now determined upon the adoption of the 
emancipation policy, and, without consultation with, or the knowl- 
edge of the cabinet, I prepared the original draft of a proclamation, 
and, after much anxious thought, called a cabinet meeting upon the 
subject. This was the last of July, or the first part of the month of 
August, 1862. This cabinet meeting took place, I think, upon a 
Saturday. All were present excepting Mr. Blair, the Postmaster- 
General, who was absent at the opening of the discussion, but came 
in subsequently. I said to the cabinet that I had resolved upon this 
step, and had not called them together to ask their advice, but to 
lay the subject matter of a proclamation before them, suggestions as 
to which whould be in order after they had heard it read. 

"Various suggestions were offered. Secretary Chase wished the 
language stronger in reference to the arming of the blacks. Mr. 
Blair, after he came in, deprecated the policy on the ground that it 
would cost the administration the fall elections. Nothing, however, 
was offered that I had not already anticipated and settled in my own 
mind, until Secretary Seward spoke. Said he: ' Mr. President, I 
approve of the proclamation, but I question the expediency of its 
issue at this juncture. The depression of the public mind, conse- 
quent upon our repeated reverses, is so great that I fear the effect of 
so important a step. It may be viewed as the last measure of an 
exhausted government — a cry for help; the government stretching- 

Freedom for the Slaves. 381 

forth its hands to Ethiopia, instead of Ethiopia stretching forth her 
hands to the government.' His idea was that it would be considered 
our 'last shriek' on the retreat. 'Now,' continued Mr. Seward, 
' while I approve the measure, I suggest, sir, that you postpone its 
issue until you can give it to the country supported by military suc- 
cess, instead of issuing it, as would be the case now, upon the great- 
est disasters of the war.' 

" The wisdom of the Secretary of State struck me with very great 
force. It was an aspect of the case that in all my thought upon the 
subject I had entirely overlooked. The result was that I put the 
draft of the proclamation aside, as you do your sketch for a picture, 
waiting for a victory. From time to time I added or changed a line, 
touching it up here and there, waiting the progress of events. 
Well, the next news we had was of Pope's disaster at Bull Run. 
Things looked darker than ever. Finally came the week of Antie- 
tam. I determined to wait no longer. The news came, I think, on 
Wednesday, that the advantage was on our side. I was then stay- 
ing at the Soldiers' Home. Here I finished writing the second draft 
of the preliminary proclamation; came up on Saturday, called the 
cabinet together to hear it, and it was published the following 

An incident of the last-mentioned cabinet meeting not men- 
tioned by Lincoln was related to Mr. Carpenter by Secretary Chase. 
The President, he said, began by remarking that the time for the 
annunciation of the emancipation policy could no longer be delayed. 
Public sentiment, he thought, would sustain it, many of his warmest 
friends and supporters demanded it, and he had promised his God 
that he would do it. The last part of this was uttered in a low tone, 
and appeared to be heard by no one but Mr. Chase, who was sitting 
near him. He asked the President if he correctly understood him. 

Mr. Lincoln replied: " I made a solemn vow before God that if 
General Lee were driven back from Pennsylvania I would crown the 
result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves. ' ' 

382 Southern Historical Society Papers. 

[From the Richmond, Va., Times, Jan. 30, 1898.] 


A Beautiful Poem by A. C. GORDON, of Staunton. 

To the Editor of the Times: 

In reading the excellent address of Capt. R. S. Parks to the veterans 
[see ante pp. 354-364], as reported in your paper, and the beautiful 
and fitting verses with which he closed, it occurred to me that you 
would enjoy, if you have never seen it, or read it, the entire poem 
as delivered by the author, the Hon. A. C. Gordon, of Staunton, 
Va., upon the occasion of unveiling the monument erected to the 
Confederate dead at Staunton, Va., and I enclose you a copy. The 
late Professor George Fred. Holmes told the writer of this that he 
considered Mr. Armistead Gordon's poem "the finest on such an 
occasion he had read since the war." With many other distinguish- 
ing qualities, I am happy that Virginia has in this son one who writes 
so beautifully in verse.* 

G. Julian Pratt. 
Waynesboro, Va., January 25, 1898. 


1 ' The grief that circled his brow with a crown of thorns was also 
that which wreathed them with the splendor of immortality." — 
Castelar' 1 s ' ' Savo7iarola. ' ' 


Where are they who marched away, 
Sped with smiles that changed to tears, 

Glittering lines of steel and gray 

Moving down the battle's way — 
Where are they these many years ? 

Garlands wreathed their shining swords; 

They were girt about with cheers, 
Children's lispings, women's words, 
Sunshine and the songs of birds — 

They are gone so many years. 

* He has written as well in prose, it may be assumed, for, as fellow student 
with Thomas Nelson Page at the University of Virginia, he yielded to the, 
latter (it has been admitted), some conceptions— upon which our dialect 
writer rose to fame and wealth. 

The Confederate Dead. 383 

" Lo ! beyond their brave array 

Freedom's august dawn appears: " 
Thus we said: " The brighter day 
Breaks above that line of gray." — 

Where are they these many years ? 

All our hearts went with them there, 

All our love, and all our prayers; 
What of them ? How do they fare, 
They who went to do and dare, 

And are gone so many years ? 

What of them who went away 

Followed by our hopes and fears ? 
Braver never marched than they, 
Closer ranks to fiercer fray. — 

Where are they these many years ? 


Borne upon the Spartan shield 

Home returned that brave array 
From the blood-stained battle-field 
They might neither win nor yield ; 

That is all, and here are they. 

That is all, The soft sky bends 

O'er them, lapped in earth away; 
Her benignest influence lends, 
Dews and rains and radiance sends 

Down upon them, night and day. 

Over them the Springtide weaves 

All the verdure of her May: 
Past them drift the sombre leaves 
When the heart of Autumn grieves 

O'er their slumbers. — What care they? 

What care they, who failed to win 

Guerdon of that splendid day — 
Freedom's day — they saw begin, 
But that, 'mid the battle's din, 

Faded in eclipse away ? 

All is gone for them. They gave 

All for naught. It was their way 
Where they loved. They died to save 
What was lost. The fight was brave. 

That is all; and here are they. 

384 Southern Historical Society Papers. 


Is that all ? Was duty naught ? 

Love and Faith made blind with tears ? 
What the lessons that they taught? 
What the glory that they caught 

From the onward sweeping years ? 

Here are they who marched away, 
Followed by our hopes and fears; 

Nobler never went than they 

To a bloodier, madder fray, 
In the lapse of all the years. 

Garlands still shall wreathe the swords 

That they drew amid our cheers; 
Children's lispings, women's words, 
Sunshine, and the songs of birds 

Greet them here through all the years. 

With them ever shall abide 

All our love and all our prayers. 
( What of them ? " The battle's tide 
Hath not scathed them. Lo, they ride 
Still with Stuart down the years. 

Where are they who went away, 

Sped with smiles that changed to tears ? 
Lee yet leads the lines of gray — 
Stonewall still rides down this way; 
They are Fame's through all the years. 


Abbeville, S. C, Distinguished men of, 56. 

Alabama Heroine, An, 45. 

Alexandria, Retrocession of, 197. 

Allen, Major Wm., 139. 

Ambulance Corps, The Richmond, Members 

of, 113. 
Anderson, General Joseph R., 211. 
Appomattox, Surrender at, 20, 263. 
Archer, Colonel Fletcher H., 12. 
Ashford, Col. John, 257. 
Atkinson, Col. John Wilder, 38, 139. 
Averill, Col. J. H., 267. 

Baldwin, Joseph G , 22. 
Barlow, Captain J. W., 139. 
Barker, Capt. F. C, 366. 
Barnes, Gen. W. F., 78. 
Beauregard, Gen. G. T., 206 
Benjamin, Judah P., Sketch of, 297, 378. 
Bennett, Captain Frank, 171. 
Bingham, apt. Robert 345. 
Blacknall, Col. C. C, 168, 173. 
Blacknall, Dr. Geo. W., 168. 
Blacknall, Dr. Oscar, 168. 
Blacknall, Maj. T. H., 168. 
Blake, Capt. T. B., 139, 286. 
Blow, Capt. W. N , 275 
Boonsboro, Battle of, 162, 276 
Boyd, Miss Belle, 165. 
Boy Heroes at Cold Harbor, 234. 
Brandy Station, Battle of, 148, 168. 
Bristow Station, Battle of, 339. 
Bullock, C. S. N., Irvine S., 117. 
Burkittsville, Charge at, 148 
Burgess' Mill, Battle of, 15, 343. 

Cedar Creek, Battle of, 173. 

Cedar Run, Battle of, 98, 161. 

Centreville, Battle of, 100. 

Chambersburg, Battle of, 259. 

Chancellorsville, Disparity of Confederate and 
Federal forces at, 109, 169, 348. 

Chantilly, Battle of, 99. 

Christian, Maj. E. J., killed, 159. 

Christie, Col. D. H., killed, 166. 

Clark, George, 84. 

Clayton, Capt. Robert, 139. 

Cleery, Major F. D , 5. 

Cobb, Gen T. R. R., Legion of, 147. 

Coinage Debate in 1852, 200. 

Cold Harbor, Battle of, 160, 171, 209, 234. 

Colston, Gen. R. E., Tribute to, 346; Ode by, 

Confederate Cause, The, 21, 357. 

Confederate Dead, The, Poem by A. C. Gor- 
don, 382. 

Confederate Forces, Total of, 308. 

Confederate Navy, The Shenandoah, 116 ; 
Alabama, Florida, 126. 

Council, Col J. C, 12. 

Cowardin, Lieut. John L., 139. 

■Crater, Charge at the, 285. 

Crutchfield's Artillery Brigade ; Operations of 

April, 1865, 38, 139, 285. . 
Cumberland Grays, 21st Va. Infantry, Roster 

and Record of, 264. 
Custer, Gen. Geo. A., 239. 

Danville, Explosion at, April, 1865, 271. 
Davis, Pres't Jefferson, 69 ; at Manassas, 94. 
Davis, Sam, A Southern Hero, Tribute to by 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 231. 
Deloney, Col. W. G., 147. 
Drewry's Bluff, Battle of, 206. 
Duke, Col. R. T. W., 138. 
Duncan, Col. R. P., 17. 

Early, Gen. Jubal A., 109, 153. 
Early, Capt. W. T., 135. 
Ennals, Bartholomew, 181. 
Ewell Gen. R. S., 40, 105. 
Ezekiel, H. T., 297. 

Farrar, Judge F. R., 364. 

Fayette Artillery, in the Movement on New 

Berne, N. C, 288. 
Federal Forces, Total of the, 303. 
Five Forks, Battle of, 16. 
Fitzhngh, Maj. P. H., killed, 14. 
Fleming, Robt. I., 355. 
Fleming, W. L, 45. 
Flowers, Col. Geo. W., 245. 
Forrest, Gen. N. B.. Ability of, 45, 54. 
Frayser, Capt R. E., 369. 
Frazier's Farm, Battle of, 98, 209, 211. 
Fredericksburg, Battle of, 96. 
Fugitive Slaves' Law, Author of, 190. 
Fulkerson, Col. Abram, 365. 

Gaines, E. W., 288. 

Gaines' Mill, Battle of, 97. 

Garland, Jr , Gen. Sam'l, 157. 

Garrett. Col., killed, 171. 

Gettysburg Failure, Cause of the, 60. 

Georgia Battalion, Casualties in, April, 1865, 

Gibbs, Maj. W. H., 38. 
Gill, Serg't-Maj W F., killed, i6r. 
Gloucester County (Va.) Confederate dead of, 

1, 20. 
Goode, Col. J. Thomas, 3, 16. 
Gordon, A. C, 382. 
Gordon, Gen. John B., 105. 
Green, Lieut. J. M., 281. 
Gregg, Gen. Maxev, 107 
Gregory, Maj. W. F. C, 5. 
Grimball, Lieut. John, C. S. N., 116. 
Grimes, Gen. Bryan, 167. 
Groveton, Battle of, 99. 

Hagood, Gen. J., Brigade of, 13, 223. 
Hamilton, Col. D. H., 237. 
Hampton Roads Conference, by Hon. John H. 
Reagan, 68. 



Hare, Lt., killed, 357. 
Hare's Hill, Battle of, 175 
Harpers' Ferry, Capture of, 254. 
Harris, Col. David Bullock, 6. 
Harrison, Capt. C. Shirley, 139, 285. 
Hatcher s Run. Battle of, 175. 
Hayes, R. B., 163, 321. 
Hensley, Major J. O., 139. 
Hill, Gen. A. P., 255. 
Hill, Gen. D. H., 107, 156. 
Hill, Major J. C, 14. 
Hobson, Col. Edwin L., 105. 
Hoke, Col. VV. J., 258, 261. 
Holmes, Gen. T H , 4, 215. 
Hopkins, George, 377. 
Howletts, Charge at, 12. 
Hunter, R. M. T., Sketch of, 193. 
Hyman, Col. J. H., 263. 

Iverson, Gen. Alfred, 165. 

Jackson, Gen. T. J., His Career and Character, 
91 ; his corps, English estimate of, 92 ; fatal 
wounding of, 256; incidents in his life at West 
Point, 309 ; in a duel, 312 ; death of, 328. 

Jenkins, Gen. M , 7. 

Johnson, Gen. B. R., 13, 19, 90. 

Johnson, Gen. B. T., 173. 

Johnson, Gen. Edward, 170. 

Johnston, Gen. Joseph E., 154, 157, 161; his ne- 
gotiations with Sherman, 272. 

Jones, Lt.-Col., killed, 9. 

Jordan, Col. R. D., 166. 

Jordan, Surgeon, killed, 165. 

Jordan, Capt. Wm , 17. 

Kemper, Col. Del., 7. 
Kernstown, Battle of. 314. 
Knight, Capt. J. S., killed, 166. 
Knox, Myra E., 323. 

Lamb, Hon. John, 208. 

Laughton, Jr. , Capt. John E., 347. 

Lee Camp, No. 1., C. V., 91. 

Lee, Gen. Fitzhugh, 276. 

Lee, Gen. G. W. Custis, 38, 286. 

Lee, Gen. R. E , Surrender of, 300; Birthday 

of, observed, 354 
Lee, Stephen D., 103. 
Lee, Gen. W. H. F., 277. 
Leigh, Benj. Watkins, 187. 
Lewis, R. B , 351. 
Lincoln, Abraham, 69, 380. 
Lyons, Capt. J. L., 184. 

McClellan, Gen. G. B., 154. 

McCrady, Col. Edward, 237. 

McDowell, Miss Lillie, 281. 

McGowan, Gen. Sam'l, 211. 

Magruder, Gen. J. B., 154, 217. 

McGuire, Dr. Hunter, 91. 

Mclntire, Adj't D. N., 257. 

McLaws, Gen Fayette, 101. 

Mahone, Gen. Wm., 82. 

McLaughlin, Maj. M. McR., 257. 

McRae, Col. D. K., 153, 157, 164. 

McRae, Gen. Wm., 339. 

McRae, Capt., killed, 257. 

Malvern Hill, Battle of, 95, 160, 183, 208, 212. 

Manassas, Battle of, 4. 

Marshall, Col. E. G.. 78. 

Marigny, Col. M„ 182. 

Maryland Campaign, The, 226. 

Mason, Hon. J. M., Tribute to, 186. 

Maury, Gen. D. H , 45, 309. 

Mechanicsville, Battle of, 160, 249. 

Miller, Walter L., 60. 

Monocacy, Battle of, 174. 

Morris Island, 131. Six hundred Confederates 

under Fire on ; their hardships, 365. 
Mosby's Men, Hanging of by Gen. Custer, 239. 

N. C. Infantry, History and officers of the 23d, 
151; 38th, 245, badges to for gallantry, 257; 
44th, 334. 

N. C Forces in the C. S. Army, 343. 

Page, Col. Powhatan R., 5, 7; killed, 14. 

Page, Thomas Nelson, 382. 

Parks, Capt. R. S., Address of, 356. 

Pegram, Gen. John, killed, 175. 

Pender's Brigade, 249, 259. 

Perrin, Col. Abner. 17. 

Petersburg, Operations before in 1864, 10 ; 

Slaughter at in 1864, 222, 345. 
Petigru, James Louis, Sketch of, 55. 
Pettigrew, Gen. J.J, 337- 338- 
Pickett. Gen. Geo. E., 288. 
Pratt, G. Julian, 382. 
Prentiss, Sergeant S., Sketch of, 23. 
Private Soldier, The, Address by Hon. R. T. 

Bennett, 302. 

Reams' Station, Battle of, 261, 341. 
Richmond, Va., Burning of, April, 3, 1865, 135, 

267; Retreat from, 135, 139, 285, 332. 
Rion, Maj. Jas. H., 223. 
Rockbridge 2d Battery, Its Roster and Career, 

Rockbridge 2d Dragoons, Roster & Record, 177. 
Rogers, Colonel George T., 84. 

Sailor's Creek, Battle of, 17, 39, 139; C. S. A. 

prisoners at, 143. 
Sansom, Miss Emma, 45. 
Saunders, General J. C. C, 84. 
Schimmelfinnig, General Alex., 8. 
Semmes, Hon. T. J., Reminiscences of, 317. 
Semple, Major H. C, 321. 
Seven Days' Battles, 161. 
Seven Pines, Battle of. 157, 158, 208, 215. 
Sharpsburg, Battle of, 95, 106, 164. 
Shenandoah, Career and Officers of, 116. 
Shepherdstown, Battle of, 254. 
Signal Corps, U. S. A., The, 130. 
Slaves, Proclamation freeing them, 378. 
Slidell, Hon. John, 191. 
Smith, General G. W., 158, 222. 
Smith, General W. F., 5, 13. 
Soldiers of 200 years, The greatest, 92. 
Southanna Bridge, Battle of, 337. 
South Carolina, Operations in, 1&63-4, 7. 
South, Life in the, before 1861, 324. 
South Mountain Gap, Battle of, 162. 
South, Righteous Cause of the, 357. 
Spinola Family, The, 188. 
Spotsylvania C. H., Battle of, 170, 261, 340. 
Sprunt, Hon. James, 378. 
Starke, Colonel A. W , 3, 4. 
Stedman, Charles M., 334. 
Stewart, Colonel W. H., 77, 285. 
Stiles, Major Robert, 39. 
Strange, Major James, 135. 
Streight, Colonel A. D., Capture of, 45. 
Stribling. Robert M., 67. 
Sumter, Fort, 131. 
Sussex Light Dragoons, Roll of, 273. 

Tabb, Colonel W. B„ 3, 17. 

Taft, A. W , 130. 

Thomas, Hon. W. M., 222. 

Tilman, Heroism of Color-Bearer, 345. 

Tupper, Lieutenant F., killed, 42. 

Turner, Lieutenant J. M., 41. 

Tyler, President John, 321. 

Tyrrell, Henry, 77. 



Valley Campaign, Jackson's, 103. 
Volunteer Soldier, The, 103. 
Von Browaer, Baron, 181. 

Waggaman, Colonel Eugene, 10th Louisiana 

Infantry, sketch of, 180. 
Wall, H. C, 151. 
Wallace, General W. H., 15. 
Watterson, Henry, 1, 8. 
Washington, Colonel L. Q., 193. 
Waterloo, Battle of, 219. 
Watkins, Major H. C, 5. 
West Virginia Campaign, 3. 
Whitaker's Mill captured, 4. 
White Horse, Incident of the officer on the, 105. 
Whiting, Gen. W. H. C, 10, 215. 

Wiatt, Chaplain W. E., 16. 
Wilcox, Ella Wheeler, 231. 
Wilderness, Battle of the, 259, 339. 
Wilson, Lt. Samuel, 139. 
Winchester, Battle of, 97. 
Wise, Barton Haxall, 1, 205. 
Wise's Brigade, Career of, 1. 
Wise, Capt. Geo. D., killed, 14. 
Wise, Gen. Henry A., 1, 186, 206. 
Wise. Gen. Peyton, Native of, 14. 
Wright, Gen. G. J , 147. 
Wright, Gen. H. G., 287. 

Yorktown, Defense of, 155. 
Young, Gen. P. M. B., Tribute to, 146; his de- 
fense of Savannah, 150.